Cyanide poisoning has been confirmed in the death of a $1 million lottery winner. Authorities have confirmed that examination of Urooj Khan’s exhumed body revealed he was indeed poisoned.
Kahn, age 46, chose a lump-sum payment of $425,000 from the Illinois lottery. Unfortunately the man died before he had a chance to cash the check. Medical examiners initially declared that Kahn died of natural causes.
As reported by NBC News, Kahn’s family questioned the determination and asked for a second opinion. Further examination, including a toxicology screening, resulted in a completely different conclusion. Medical examiners ruled that the cause of death was homicide. Lab technicians found a lethal amount of cyanide in Kahn’s blood.
The lab results were not confirmed until after Kahn was buried. Once the presence of cyanide was confirmed, the $1 million lottery winner’s body was ordered to be exhumed. Medical examiners checked the brain and other large organs for the presence of the lethal poison, in addition to an effort to determine how the poison was introduced.
As reported by CNN, the Chicago Police continued working closely with the medical examiner as the death had been ruled a homicide.
Cyanide is a very rare, but highly poisonous, substance. It is difficult to obtain in large quantities as retail sale is prohibited. Cyanide poisoning is equally difficult to detect as it requires a series of tests. Due to high cost associated with testing, cyanide detection is not performed during autopsy unless specifically requested.
Final results of testing on Kahn’s exhumed body confirm that cyanide poisoning caused the death of the $1 million lottery winner. As the tissue experienced significant decay, examiners were unable to determine how the lethal substance was introduced into his system.