Lottery winner’s body to be studied further

SATURDAY, JAN. 12, 2013

Judge OKs exhuming of poisoned man

CHICAGO – A judge Friday granted prosecutors permission to exhume the body of a Chicago lottery winner who was fatally poisoned with cyanide just as he was about to collect his $425,000 payout.

Authorities want to do a fuller autopsy on Urooj Khan to confirm earlier but less-thorough toxicology tests, as well as to rule out that natural causes contributed to the 46-year-old’s sudden death, according to documents filed with the motion for an exhumation.

Khan’s July 20 death was initially ruled a result of natural causes. But a relative asked authorities to look deeper, triggering more exams that led to the conclusion in November that the businessman was intentionally poisoned.

Cook County’s Medical Examiner’s Office didn’t initially perform a comprehensive autopsy because there were no outward signs of physical trauma and it was thought he died of a cardiac arrest, the state’s attorney’s motion said.

A specific date wasn’t immediately set for the exhumation, though medical examiner spokeswoman Mary Paleologos said it should occur by the end of next week. The autopsy would most likely be done the next day, and results would be released two weeks later, she said.

Police have released few details about the investigation; they have not announced any suspects or a possible motive or said which relative asked for the more thorough inquiry.

Khan’s sister, Meraj Khan, and her husband, Mohammed Zaman, said neither could fathom that someone might have killed Urooj Khan.

Zaman said he wasn’t sure if the lottery winnings might have played a role and he noted that his brother-in-law was already comparatively wealthy before.


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