Poisoned Lottery Winner To Be Exhumed

Poisoned Lottery Winner To Be Exhumed

A judge has approved a request to exhume the body of a Chicago lottery winner who was fatally poisoned with cyanide one day before he was to collect his \$425,000 (£264,000) pay-out.

Authorities want to do a more complete autopsy on Urooj Khan to confirm earlier toxicology tests done before his burial.

They also want to rule out natural causes in the 46-year-old's sudden death, according to documents filed by prosecutors with the motion for an exhumation.

It was unclear when the exhumation will take place.

Mr Khan's sister said the thought of her brother's body being unearthed and re-examined was disturbing - but essential.

"It's very hard," Meraj Khan told reporters through tears. "I wanted my brother to rest in peace, but we have to have justice served." 

Mr Khan's death on July 20 was first ruled as natural causes.

But a relative asked authorities to look deeper, triggering more tests that led to the conclusion in November that the small-business owner was poisoned.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office did not initially perform a comprehensive autopsy because it appeared Mr Khan died of a heart attack, court documents said.

Police have not announced any suspects or a possible motive, nor have they said which relative asked for the more thorough inquiry.

Mr Khan's wife, Shabana Ansari, has said her husband had no enemies, and has denied having anything to do with his death.

One of Ms Ansari's lawyers said she does not oppose the exhumation, but that she wants Islamic religious practises to be followed.

Mr Khan, who owned a number of dry cleaners, planned to use the lottery winnings to pay off mortgages, expand his business and give a donation to a hospital.


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