LINCOLN SQUARE — The wife and father-in-law of a poisoned million dollar lottery winner worked at the family dry cleaning business as usual Friday as crews dug up the dead man's body.
Crews began digging up the grave of Urooj Khan, a 46-year-old Rogers Park man, at 7:15 a.m. Friday. A hearse arrived at Rosehill Cemetery an hour later to take the body to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office for additional tests.
It will take a few weeks to get the final autopsy report, said Chief Medical Examiner Stephen Cina on Friday afternoon.
Cyanide can evaporate out of body tissue but can't be detected by smell, Cina said.
"It's not something you smell just by walking by," he said.
Khan died on July 20, before he could cash in a lottery jackpot he won shortly before his death.
While his death was originally determined to be from natural causes, a relative came forward, expressing concerns it could have been from something more sinister.
Blood samples showed Khan had lethal levels of cyanide in his body when he died, authorities said.
The time it takes for cyanide to kill a person varies based on the size of the meal and dose of the poison, Cina said.
"It can take several hours to kill you," he said.
The cost of the exhumation and autopsy has yet to be determined, Cina said.
"The truth will come to light," said Fareedum Ansari, Khan's father-in-law inside the family dry cleaning business at Western and Jarvis avenues.
Khan's wife, Shabana Ansari, declined to comment on her husband's death, but said she had not been at Rosehill Cemetery, where the body was being exhumed.
Cook County Judge Susan Coleman ruled in favor of exhuming Khan’s body last week.
Shabana and Fareedum Ansari manage another dry cleaning location on Devon Avenue.
Khan owned the business and spent most of his time at the Devon Avenue cleaners.
Employees of a restaurant across the street said Khan would drink tea there in the mornings and on weekends.
Benyamin Benyamin, the owner of a tire shop next door to the dry cleaners, said he and Khan would watch TV together in his shop when business was slow.
"He'd sit right where you're sitting now," said Benyamin, who had watched news footage Friday morning of the exhumation.
He said Khan had told him — after closing the dry cleaners around 6 p.m. — to have a good night and that he'd see him again in the morning.
But that was the last time Benyamin saw Khan.
"It's a mystery," he said. "I hope they will solve the case."