A missing man who won $30 million in the Florida lottery in 2006 was found dead on January 28 after a three-month search.
Abraham Shakespeare had not been seen by friends or relatives since April and was officially declared a missing person in November. Authorities found his body buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of a Florida home belonging to the boyfriend of a woman who befriended him in 2007, according to BBC News.
Police were led to the Plant City, Fla. home by an anonymous tip, according to local television station WFTV. A ruling on Shakespeare’s cause of death is expected Monday, but authorities said they believed he was murdered even before the tip came in and his body was located.
“As our investigation continued, the information we developed led us to believe he may very well have ended up with an untimely death,” Polk County, Fla. Sheriff Grady Judd told CNN. “It’s painfully obvious he didn’t get there by himself.”
According to a CNN report, the Polk County Sheriff’s Department has named Dorice “DeeDee” Moore as a person of interest. Moore’s boyfriend owns the home where Shakespeare’s body was discovered under recently-poured concrete.
According to the Lakeland, Fla. Ledger, Moore claimed to have been helping Shakespeare manage his finances and said she was offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who finds him. She has not been charged with any crime in connection with his death.
However, detectives said Moore paid people large sums of money to say they’d seen Shakespeare, including a $5,000 payment to Shakespeare’s cousin. The lotto winner’s cousin, in return, sent to Shakespeare’s mother a birthday card with Shakespeare’s forged signature.
In addition, authorities say all of Shakespeare’s bank accounts and properties have been transferred into Moore’s name and that she was sending messages from Shakespeare’s phone, claiming to be him.
Shakespeare, a trucker’s assistant, found himself in several legal battles throughout his adult life, according to media reports. Among his troubles, he has owed child support, been charged with assault, and has been sued by Michael Ford, the truck driver he was working with on the day he won the lottery, who claimed that Shakespeare stole the ticket. Shakespeare won that law suit prior to his disappearance.