Salisbury public gardens searched as investigation continues into couple's poisoning

Written by on July 18, 2018

Jack Taylor/Getty Images(LONDON) — Wiltshire police in England are searching Salisbury’s Queen Elizabeth Gardens as part of the ongoing investigation into the Novichok contamination that killed a British woman and seriously injured her partner.

The gardens have been closed off to the public for two weeks since Dawn Sturgess and her partner, Charlie Rowley, fell ill following exposure to a Novichok nerve agent in late June, four months after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal.

“The commencement of the searching of the gardens is a significant step in the operation,” Wiltshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said.

He added, “We are intentionally undertaking a detailed and meticulous search so that the public can return to using the gardens with confidence when they are reopened.”

A murder inquiry was launched after Sturgess died at a local hospital on July 8. She was at Rowley’s house in Amesbury, just several miles away from Salisbury, when she first fell ill.

Investigators are studying whether the British couple’s poisoning is linked to the Skripals.

Around 100 detectives are supporting the regional police force working on the case.

Rowley remains in the hospital and told his brother he was “devastated” when he learned of Sturgess’ death.

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