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Prosecutors want Chicago lottery winner's body to be exhumed

January 11, 2013|By Andrew Khouri

Cook County prosecutors are expected to ask a judge Friday morning to exhume the body of a Chicago lottery winner who died of cyanide poisoning, according to the medical examiner’s office.

A spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner previously told the Los Angeles Times that the removal of 46-year-old Urooj Khan’s remains may not take place for several weeks because the decision must receive a judge's approval and authorities must coordinate with the cemetery.

Khan -- who won a $1-million jackpot from the Illinois lottery last summer -- died before he could receive his winnings. His July 20 death was initially believed to stem from heart disease. But a family member raised concerns and the medical examiner ran additional tests from blood and tissue samples after the office released Khan’s body to his family.

On Nov. 30, the medical examiner labeled Khan’s death a homicide. Now the medical examiner wants the body back so it can complete its investigation.

On Thursday, Khan’s wife of 12 years, Shabana Ansari, told reporters that Chicago police asked her about the ingredients she used in making Khan’s final meal: lamb curry.

Ansari said she had nothing to do with her husband’s death and shared the curry dish with Khan, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Court records show that Khan’s brother and Ansari have fought in probate court over the lottery money. His brother worried that Khan's daughter from a previous marriage would not see "her fair share," according to documents obtained by the Tribune.

"How would I do such an injustice?" Ansari told reporters Thursday, responding to a question about the probate case. "I was taking care of her all these years."

Ansari told reporters she couldn’t understand why someone would poison her husband.

"He was such a nice person," she said, according to the Tribune, which first reported the story. "No one would dare kill him."

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