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January 19, 2013

Autopsy conducted on lottery winner

(Continued)

CHICAGO —

But Cina said that after the autopsy that lasted a couple hours he remains convinced Khan was the victim of a homicide.

“We’ve already determined it was a homicide,” he said. “I didn’t see anything that changed that.”

Khan’s wife, Shabana Ansari, and other relatives have denied any role in his death and expressed a desire to learn the truth.

Authorities remain tightlipped about whom they may suspect.

At dawn Friday, a backhoe at Rosehill Cemetery began scooping up dark clumps of ground hardened by the cold weather. Two men then finished the work with shovels, and a Muslim cleric said prayers beside Khan’s grave. His body was placed in a white bag and loaded into a hearse.

One of Khan’s brothers was present, along with officials from the medical examiner’s office and Chicago police detectives. Police kept about half a dozen TV news crews at a distance, beyond the cemetery’s fence, and two news helicopters circled overhead.

Khan had moved to the U.S. from his home in Hyderabad, India, in 1989, setting up several dry-cleaning businesses and buying into some real-estate investments.

Despite having foresworn gambling after making the haj pilgrimage to Mecca in 2010, Khan bought a lottery ticket in June. He said winning the lottery meant everything to him and that he planned to use his winnings to pay off mortgages, expand his business and donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

He was just days from receiving his winnings when he died before dawn on July 20.

The night before, Khan ate dinner with his wife, daughter and father-in-law at their house. Sometime that night, Khan awoke feeling ill. He died the next morning at a hospital.

Khan died without a will, opening the door to a court battle. The businessman’s widow and siblings fought for months over his estate, including the lottery check.

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