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Poisoned Lottery Winner Mystery Lives on After Medical Examiner's Departure

Image: Poisoned Lottery Winner Mystery Lives on After Medical Examiner's Departure
This June 2012 photo provided by WMAQ-TV in Chicago shows Urooj Khan, center, holding a ceremonial check in Chicago for $1 million as winner of an Illinois instant lottery game. (AP Photo/Courtesy of WMAQ-TV in Chicago)

By    |   Monday, 13 Jun 2016 12:00 PM

The case of a poisoned lottery winner, who died in 2012, hasn't been solved, and now the medical examiner who spearheaded the claims has left office and says he hasn't heard from police on the investigation in three years.

Urooj Khan of Chicago died on July 20, 2012, one day after a check for his $1 million lottery prize was issued, The Associated Press reported. He was 46. The cause of his death was originally listed as natural, but his skeptical brother urged officials to take a closer look.

In early 2013, Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina tested a blood sample that revealed a lethal dose of cyanide. But Cina, who served his last day in office earlier this month, told the AP he hasn't heard anything from police since.

"I think the case has become dormant," Al-Haroon Husain, a lawyer who represented Khan's wife in a battle over his estate, told the wire agency.

But police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the AP that the case is "still very much an open and active investigation."

In a follow-up AP story, Khan's sister, Meraj Khan
, took exception to that statement, saying the detective in charge of the case has told family members that he's too busy with other things to talk to them.

"Every time we called them, he hands it to somebody else who says, 'Oh, we are looking into it,'" she said. "They haven't done nothing, really."

The case drew international attention in 2013 and led to the exhumation of Khan's body. Over the years, police have interviewed Khan's wife, daughter, and father-in-law who had dinner with him on the night he died.

Khan was originally from India and ran a dry-cleaning businesses with his wife, Shabana Ansari, who is following her lawyer's advice not to talk to anyone. Khan's estate was split between his wife and his daughter from an earlier marriage, who lived with Meraj Khan after his death.

"Honestly, a day doesn't pass by that I don't think about him," Meraj Khan told the AP. "Every single day. When I look at my niece, when I remember things that we did . . . I feel like he's telling me, 'How come you're not doing anything about it?'"

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The case of a poisoned lottery winner, who died in 2012, hasn't been solved, and now the medical examiner who spearheaded the claims has left office and says he hasn't heard from police on the investigation in three years.
poisoned, lottery, winner, medical examiner
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2016-00-13
Monday, 13 Jun 2016 12:00 PM
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