Police open murder probe as woman exposed to nerve agent dies

British police have declared a

Dawn Sturgess fell ill last week and she and a man with her were taken to the hospital while foaming at the mouth and nearing death.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, died in hospital on Sunday evening after falling critically ill on 30 June.

That afternoon, the 45-year-old man fell ill at the same address in Amesbury and was also hospitalised.

Both were determined to have been exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands, police said.

A woman who was poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent in southwest England died Sunday, eight days after police think she touched a contaminated item that has not been found.

"Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely hard time", said Neil Basu, assistant commissioner and head of UK Counter Terrorism policing.

Her death comes four months after the poisoning of.

Police have announced that they've launched a full homicide investigation.

Britain has openly accused Russian Federation of being responsible for poisoning the Skripals with Novichok, a family of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970 and 1980s.

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Russia, which is now hosting the soccer World Cup, has denied any involvement in the Skripal case and suggested the British security services had carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria.

The investigation is being led by detectives from the Counter-Terrorism Policing Network and about 100 detectives are working on the case alongside Wiltshire Police. Skripal was discharged from the hospital in May and his daughter was released in April.

Ms Sturgess's family are being given support by specialist officers and have asked for privacy.

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to", police said.

"Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder", she addded.

The new poisoning has frightened some residents who thought an extensive cleanup had removed the threat of any further Novichok exposure.

FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands in front of screening erected behind John Baker House, after it was confirmed that two people had been poisoned with the nerve-agent Novichok, in Amesbury, Britain, July 5, 2018.

Amesbury is just a 20-minute drive from Salisbury, England.

But he said health authorities continued to assert the risk to the public was low.

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