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Heir To Billions Pleads Guilty To Keeping Dead Wife's Body At Home

In London today the Swedish heir to a fortune worth billions of dollars pleaded guilty to "preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife" and the court heard that Eva Rausing's body may have been lying beneath "bin bags, clothing and bed linen" for as long as two months, the BBC reports.

It what sounds like an incredibly sad end to a story we've posted about previously, the court heard that Hans Kristian Rausing told police following his arrest on July 9 that "I do not have a very coherent recollection of the events leading up to and since Eva's death. Safe to assure you that I have never wished her or done her any harm. ... I tried to carry on as if her death had not happened and batted away any inquiries about her."

The couple had battled drug addictions. But Rausing told police he had not supplied her with drugs. The cause of her death has yet to be determined.

Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, is heir to a fortune built by his father thanks to the success of the family's Tetra Pak food packaging empire. Eva Rausing, 48, was an American and daughter of retired Pepsi executive Tom Kemeny.

Hans Kristian Rausing has not yet been sentenced. He is currently being treated at a private hospital and conditions of his bail require that he stay there and only leave if escorted by a hospital staff member, the BBC says.

Update at 9:35 a.m ET. 10-Month Sentence:

According to the BBC, Rausing has been "sentenced to 10 months custody supended for two years for preventing wife Eva's burial."

The Guardian adds that "in 2007 something happened in their lives which turned Hans Rausing into a total recluse. 'His only human contact was his wife,' " lawyer Alex Cameron.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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