CHICAGO (AP) — The body of a Chicago man who was poisoned with cyanide after winning the lottery was exhumed Friday for another autopsy that authorities hope will help solve the mystery surrounding his death.
A black hearse escorted by four police cars carried away the body of Urooj Khan from a cemetery on the city's North Side shortly after 9 a.m., and the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office was expected to perform the autopsy immediately, spokeswoman Mary Paleologos said.
She said examiners will take blood, tissue, bone, hair and nail samples. They'll also examine the lungs, liver, spleen and contents of the stomach and intestines. Paleologos said tests on Khan's organs also may determine whether the poison was swallowed, inhaled or injected.
The autopsy was expected to be finished by Friday afternoon, though it will take two to three weeks to get test results, she said.
Khan, 46, died in July as he was about to collect $425,000 in lottery winnings. His death initially was ruled a result of natural causes. But a relative asked for further tests, which revealed he was poisoned.
Khan's wife, Shaana Ansari, and other relatives have denied any role in his death and expressed a desire to learn the truth.
Authorities remain tightlipped about whom they may suspect.
Khan had come to the U.S. from his home in Hyderabad, India, in 1989, setting up several dry-cleaning businesses and buying into some real-estate investments.
Despite having foresworn gambling after a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2010, Khan bought a ticket in June. He jumped "two feet in the air" and shouted, "I hit a million," he recalled at a lottery ceremony later that month.
He said winning the lottery meant everything to him and that he planned to use his winnings to pay off mortgages, expand his business and donate to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
He was just days from receiving his winnings when he died before dawn on July 20.
The night before, Khan ate dinner with his wife, daughter and father-in-law in their house in Chicago's North Side neighborhood of West Rogers Park, home to many immigrants from India and Pakistan.
Sometime that night, Khan awoke feeling ill and collapsed as he tried to get up from a chair, his wife has said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
With no outward sign of trauma, authorities initially determined Khan had died of natural causes. But a concerned relative — whose identity remains a mystery — came forward with suspicions and asked authorities to take a closer look.
Further toxicology tests found a lethal amount of cyanide in his blood, leading the medical examiner in November to reclassify the death a homicide.
Khan died without a will, opening the door to a court battle. The businessman's widow and siblings fought for months over his estate, including the lottery check.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
You've heard about some brazen criminals and what they will do to get what they want. This time, you are going to hear about a brave bank employee who didn't mind saying "no".
Clear skies and a secondary push of chilly air have arrived as a stronger area of high pressure has moved in from the central plains.
U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown proposes converting part of the old Searcy Mental Health facility in Mt. Vernon into a transitional residential/vocational training facility for offenders.
Elizabeth Styron, the manager and Rebecca Howard, pairings and recipe specialist at the Happy Olive are in the Studio10 kitchen showing you some quick and easy recipes.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 68,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the largest increase in more than a year.
Ten University of South Alabama football players were honored with the release of the 2013 all- Sun Belt Conference teams on Wednesday, December 11, and Jaguar head coach Joey Jones was selected the league's Coach of the Year.