CHICAGO -- Authorities plan to exhume the body of a Chicago lottery winner poisoned with a lethal dose of cyanide less than a month after claiming his prize as detectives move forward with a homicide investigation.
Prosecutors, Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner's office are trying to unravel precisely how Urooj Khan, 46, was killed. They have not publicly identified any suspects.
Khan's death last year on July 20 was initially attributed to natural causes. But an unidentified relative's request for a deeper look resulted in the startling conclusion months later that Kahn was killed with the poison as he was about to collect $425,000 in winnings.
Khan, who owned several dry cleaners, bought a $1 million scratch-off ticket at a local 7-Eleven in June.
At an Illinois Lottery ceremony, Khan recalled that he jumped up and down in the store and repeatedly shouted, "I hit a million!" "Winning the lottery means everything to me."
The ceremony was attended by his wife, Shabana Ansari, their daughter, Jasmeen Khan, and several friends. He said he would put some winnings into his businesses and donate some to a children's hospital.
Khan opted for a lump sum of slightly more than $600,000. After taxes, he was left with about $425,000, said lottery spokesman Mike Lang. The check was issued on July 19, the day before Khan died.
It was cashed Aug. 15, Lang said, explaining that if a lottery winner dies, the money typically goes to the estate.
Medical Examiner Stephen Cina would not say where Khan was when he fell ill, citing the investigation. An external exam showed no signs of trauma on Khan's body.His widow said Tuesday she was "shattered" by his death and had no clue who would want to harm him. "I don't think anyone would have a bad eye for him or that he had any enemy," she said.