Body in backyard is missing Fla. lottery winner's
Published: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.
PLANT CITY, Fla. — A body found buried in a backyard was identified Friday as missing Florida lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office said the remains were identified through fingerprints, but a cause of death likely won't be known until Monday. The body was found Thursday at a Plant City home connected to a woman who had befriended Shakespeare.
The 43-year-old truck driver's assistant disappeared in April, though he wasn't reported missing until November. He had won a $31 million lottery jackpot in 2006, opting for a lump sum payment of nearly $17 million.
The remains were found at a home owned by the boyfriend of Dorice Moore. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has previously called Moore a "person of interest," though she has not been charged. Judd has characterized the case as a homicide.
On Dec. 5, Moore told The Ledger newspaper that she helped Shakespeare disappear, but now wants him to return because detectives were searching her home and car and looking for blood on her belongings.
Judd has said Moore transferred more than $1 million from Shakespeare's bank account into hers. She said the money was a gift.
Shakespeare had a criminal record that included arrests and prison time for burglary, battery and not paying child support. He used his winnings to buy a Nissan Altima, a Rolex from a pawn shop and a $1 million home in a gated community — but the money quickly caused him more problems.
A former co-worker sued him in 2007, accusing Shakespeare of stealing the winning ticket from him. Six months later, a jury ruled the ticket was Shakespeare's. And his mother, Elizabeth Walker, has said others were constantly asking Shakespeare for a piece of his fortune.
Not long after he bought the million-dollar home in early 2007, he was approached by Moore, family and sheriff's officials have said. She became something of a financial adviser, and property records showed that her company bought Shakespeare's house in January 2009.
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