The body of a 46-year-old Indian-origin businessman here, who died of cyanide poisoning days after he won a million dollar lottery, was exhumed to find answers to his mysterious death.

Judge Susan Coleman of the Probate Division of the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois had last Friday approved the Cook County medical examiner’s request to exhume the body of Urooj Khan, who died last July a day after he collected a cheque for $425,000 as his prize money.

The body of Urooj Khan was exhumed yesterday morning. Family members say they hope the dig at Rosehill Cemetery, on Chicago’s north side, will lead to answers as to who may have killed Khan, and why.

“We are confident he was a healthy person and cannot die like that,” Khan’s brother, Imtiaz Khan, said.

“We are just praying to God that justice will be serviced, and whoever did this will be punished,” he was quoted by NBC as saying.

Khan’s death in July, a single day after lottery officials presented him with a check for more than $425,000, was originally attributed to natural causes. A relative later requested the Cook County Medical Examiner take another look.

Khan had come to the US from his home in Hyderabad in 1989 and set up several dry-cleaning businesses in Chicago.

Medical Examiner Dr Stephen Cina said that second look revealed the lethal levels of cyanide.

Dr Jon Lomasney, the Director of Autopsy Service at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said that while the upcoming autopsy will be difficult, it should reveal new details.

(This article was published on January 19, 2013)
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