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Poisoned lottery winner autopsy confirms homicide

Friday, March 01, 2013
This undated photo provided by the Illinois Lottery shows Urooj Khan, 46, of Chicagos West Rogers Park neighborhood, posing with a winning lottery ticket. The Cook County medical examiner said Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, that Khan was fatally poisoned with cyanide July 20, 2012, a day after he collected nearly $425,000 in lottery winnings. (AP Photo/Illinois Lottery)  Urooj Khan

The Cook County medical examiner says an autopsy on the exhumed body of a Chicago lottery winner who was poisoned with cyanide yielded no significant new clues, though he confirmed Urooj Khan's death is still considered a homicide.

However the autopsy did not reveal any new clues in Khan's mysterious death. There was no cyanide left in the body tissue because it breaks down quickly, according to Cook County medical examiner Dr. Stephen Cina. Other tests revealed nothing new.

"The route of administration of cyanide cannot be confirmed in the autopsy," said Cina. "There was severe, about 75 percent, stenosis which is blockage of one of the major coronary arteries."

Cina says Khan's July 20 death is still considered a homicide because tests on fluids drawn from his body before he was buried revealed he was poisioned by cyanide which caused the artery blockage.

Authorities initially ruled that the Indian-born businessman died of natural causes, but his brother raised suspicions, leading to the further tests.

"Coronary artery disease is deemed a contributory condition, and the manner of death is homicide," Cina said Friday.

Authorities initially ruled that the Indian-born businessman died of natural causes, but his brother raised suspicions, leading authorities to test fluids drawn from Khan's body before he was buried.

Those tests showed he had been poisoned, and Khan's body was exhumed in January so that authorities could perform the autopsy and gather more evidence in case prosecutors decide to file charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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