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US probes death of lottery winner Indian-origin man

world Updated: Jan 08, 2013 11:46 IST

Police in Chicago is investigating the mysterious murder of an Indian-origin businessman, who had won a million dollar lottery last year and was allegedly poisoned with cyanide a day after he collected his prize.

Urooj Khan, 46, owned a dry-cleaning business in Chicago and had won a million dollar in an Illinois lottery scratch ticket in June last year.

A month later, Khan died just a day after he received the cheque for his lottery win.

Initially, the Cook County medical examiner's office had ruled that Khan died of natural causes and had ruled out any foul play.

However, Khan's relative asked officials to re-examine the cause of his death and new screening results now show that a lethal amount of cyanide was present in Khan's system, prompting police to investigate the death as homicide.

"We are investigating it as murder, and we're working closely with the medical examiner's office," Chicago police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said in a CNN report.

The presence of cyanide in Khan's blood led officials to issue an amended death certificate that established cyanide toxicity as the cause of death and the manner of death as homicide, chief medical examiner Steve Cina said on Monday.

No arrests have been made in the case so far.

Cina said it is likely that Khan's body would be exhumed as part of investigation into his death.

According to an Illinois Lottery statement that was released after Khan was announced winner last year, Khan and his family were ecstatic over the win and had tipped 100 dollars to the owner of the store from where the winning ticket was purchased.

Accompanied by his wife Shabana Ansari, daughter Jasmeen Khan and several friends, Khan had accepted the cheque from Illinois Lottery representatives.