CHICAGO Jan 9 The body of a Chicago man who
died of cyanide poisoning less than two months after winning $1
million in the Illinois Lottery will be exhumed for further
examination in two to four weeks, according to the Cook County
An affidavit to exhume the body of Urooj Khan, 46, will be
filed Friday with the Cook County Circuit Court, Mary
Paleologos, a spokeswoman for the county, said on Wednesday.
Once a judge approves the request, which should take one to two
weeks, it will probably take another one to two weeks to arrange
the exhumation with the cemetery, Paleologos said.
Khan's death on July 20 was at first determined to be caused
by heart disease. No autopsy was performed, since there was no
trauma present and the death appeared natural. Toxicology
results indicated no drugs or carbon monoxide present.
But several days after the body was released for burial, an
unidentified family member contacted the doctor in the case and
asked that the medical examiner revisit it.
The medical examiner's office ordered comprehensive
toxicological testing. On November 23, final test results
confirmed a lethal level of cyanide in the blood, according to
the medical examiner, and the death was ruled a homicide.
The medical examiner's office said exhumation of the body "is
necessary to complete an investigation" into Khan's death.
Chicago Police would say only that they are investigating
the case as a murder and are working closely with the medical
Khan had presented the ticket claiming his winnings to
Illinois Lottery offices on May 31, according to Lottery
spokesman Mike Lang. Khan had decided to take the lump-sum
payment, which amounted to about $424,500 after taxes. A check
was sent from Springfield, Illinois to Khan July 19 or July 20
-- so it is unlikely Khan ever saw it, Lang said.
The check was paid August 15, Lang said. He said it is
common that when winners die before receiving their winnings,
the money is paid to the estate.
Khan's estate is in Cook County probate court. The next
status date in the case is Jan. 24.
Steven Kozicki, an attorney for Khan's wife Shabana Ansari,
was not immediately available for comment Wednesday. Kozicki
told the Chicago Tribune that Ansari had been interviewed by
Chicago police detectives and had nothing to hide.
(Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune and Nick