United Kingdom police confirm source of Novichok poisoning

The Novichok Edition vodka was released the day before Dawn Sturgess died. Pix Bristol Dry Gin

British police say they have finally found the source of the deadly nerve agent that killed a woman and left her partner fighting for his life in Amesbury, England: A bottle.

Reuters reports that police said Friday that they had located a "small bottle" containing the nerve agent during a search of the home of one victim, Charlie Rowley of Amesbury.

Sturgess' partner Charlie Rowley, 45, remains in a critical condition but has regained consciousness.

Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's top counterterrorism officer, told local residents this week that Novichok could remain active for 50 years if it kept in a sealed container. "However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left", police said.

Scientists at the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory were testing the Novichok to determine whether it is part of the same batch used to poison former Russian spy and British double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, in March.

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Britain's Foreign Office said Friday that the United Kingdom has asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to collect samples for analysis at its labs.

Novichok is a Soviet-era nerve agent that the British government says is linked to Russia's spy agencies.

"This is clearly a significant and positive development".

"Inquiries are under way to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie's house", police said.

A post-mortem examinaton will be conducted next Tuesday to investigate Ms Sturgess' death.

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"I also appreciate there is a lot of interest in this; however, we are not in a position to disclose any further details regarding the bottle at this stage".

About 100 detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network continue to work on this investigation, alongside colleagues from Wiltshire Police. Police have interviewed Rowley since he became conscious. "This contact is being done in close consultation with the hospital and the doctors".

Authorities insist the risk to the public in Salisbury and Amesbury remains low and there have been been no further cases of people falling ill.

He said private security guards would join officers on some of the cordons from next week, as the investigation continued.

As a precaution members of the public are continuing to be urged to not to pick up items such as syringes, needles, cosmetics or similar objects made of materials such as metal, plastic or glass.

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