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Remains are that of missing lottery winner

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Remains are that of missing lottery winner
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Cause of death not yet determined

LAKELAND, Fla. — A body found Thursday in Plant City is that of missing Florida Lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare of Lakeland, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office confirmed yesterday.

The body was identified through fingerprints, said Debbie Carter, Hillsborough County Sheriff spokeswoman.

"The cause of death has not been determined at this time, and we do not anticipate having a cause of death until Monday," she said. "The detectives have completed the search at 5802 S.R. 60 E. and crews are working to fill the excavated area but will remain on scene throughout the weekend."

Investigators found his body under a concrete slab behind a house at 5802 State Road 60 E. Detectives dug the body up after receiving information that Shakespeare was buried there, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Gee said the remains were found more than five feet beneath the ground in a 30-foot-by-30-foot area where homicide investigators had been told to look for Shakespeare's body. The Hillsborough Medical Examiner's Office arrived Thursday night and will finish its work today, Gee said. Gee gave no timetable when the body would be positively identified.

"We believed all along the body would be here," he said. "Somebody put that body in that hole, and we're going to get to the bottom of it."

Gee said authorities have a murder investigation on their hands. At the beginning of the investigation that began in Polk County, Judd said his detectives had hoped Shakespeare, missing since April, was alive and that he wanted to hide from those people asking him for money. But as the investigation continued, investigators concluded he "met an untimely death by sinister means and motives," Judd said.

Judd told reporters this week that his agency received good information that Shakespeare's body might have been buried at the Plant City house.

Investigators on Tuesday began searching at two neighboring houses along State Road 60 in Plant City.

Recovering the remains brought to an end the three-day search for a body and possibly the nine-month ordeal for those who wondered what had happened to Shakespeare. The tall, slender man crowned with dreadlocks hadn't been seen by friends since last spring.

Gee said much of the digging behind the house was done by hand because investigators didn't want to disturb evidence by using heavy equipment. Officials from the University of South Florida's Geology Department supervised the dig and used scientific equipment to locate and preserve the body, Gee said.

Richard Land, the former owner of the property, said he sold the house and land to Dorice "DeeDee" Moore, the woman who befriended Shakespeare and who has been identified by Judd as a person of interest in the lottery winner's disappearance.

She paid for the property with a check that was from an account for Abraham Shakespeare LLC, Land said.

According to property records, the house is owned by Shar Krasniqi, whom Judd identified earlier this month as Moore's boyfriend.

The two-story house at 5802 S.R. 60 E. is used by the Stitzel Law Firm LLC. Howard Stitzel is a lawyer who represented Shakespeare in a child-support case. He helped with paperwork that transferred mortgages held by Shakespeare to a company that Moore owned, according to Polk County documents.

The house next door, at 5732 S.R. 60 E., is owned by a Brandon corporation. Land said Moore had leased that house and planned to operate a paintball business there.

Crime scene technicians took evidence Wednesday and Thursday from the red-brick home where the paintball business was to be located.

Glen Lansky, a Brandon lawyer representing Stitzel, said Stitzel had nothing to do with Shakespeare's disappearance nor the buried body. He said Stitzel will continue to cooperate with law enforcement.

Moore has not been charged, and she is not in custody, Judd said.

She could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Shakespeare, 43, was reported missing by a family member in November, and family and friends said they hadn't seen him since April.

Moore, 37, of Lakeland, said Shakespeare disappeared because he wanted to. She told The Ledger in December that she helped him come up with a plan to drop out of sight so he could get away from people who were constantly asking him for money and so he could avoid child-support problems.

Judd has said Moore may have made off with some of Shakespeare's remaining lottery winnings. He said she used Shakespeare's cell phone to make phone calls to herself and others.

Rusty Franklin, a Bartow lawyer who has represented Moore for several weeks, said Thursday night that he no longer represents Moore.

"After careful consideration of my ethical obligation and for reasons that may be disclosed in the future, DeeDee Moore and I have mutually agreed that I will no longer represent her," Franklin said.

Friends and relatives of Shakespeare said they were relieved to learn that he finally may have been found.

Eddie Dixon, a longtime friend who used to hang out with him at the Super Choice Food Mart on West Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland, said he suspected from the beginning that Shakespeare had been killed.

"All I want is those involved to go to jail," he said. "They deserve whatever the law can give them."

Cynthia Johnson, Shakespeare's cousin, waited throughout the day Thursday at the scene of the digging. She said the discovery of a body brings closure.

"He was a good person, and he was used," Johnson said.

Sentorria Butler, the mother of Shakespeare's 1-year-old son, said Shakespeare didn't deserve what happened to him.

"Whoever did this, I pray the Lord have mercy on their soul, but they are going to suffer," Butler said. "They did this to a person who had a good heart."

Linnette Williams, Shakespeare's sister, who went with him to Tallahassee to claim his lottery winnings, said her brother didn't deserve to die over money.

"I'm hurt but I'm relieved," Williams said, crying. "At least we can give him a proper burial."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

The Ledger

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17 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by buttercake.
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cypher's avatar - shapes swish.jpg

United States
Member #80204
September 18, 2009
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Posted: January 30, 2010, 8:35 pm - IP Logged

I certainly hope law enforcement catches the creeps that took this man's life!  Greed and envy can make people do crazy things, especially if money is involved.

"Quite often, more is less!"

    TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

    United States
    Member #71120
    February 19, 2009
    990 Posts
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    Posted: January 30, 2010, 9:34 pm - IP Logged

    You can tell from the picture he was a real sweetheart.What a true waste of a good human life.And I hope his sister teaches his children what a good man he had for a father....May you rest in peace sweet angel.

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
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      Posted: January 30, 2010, 9:36 pm - IP Logged

      You can tell from the picture he was a real sweetheart.What a true waste of a good human life.And I hope his sister teaches his children what a good man he had for a father....May you rest in peace sweet angel.

      I Agree!

       

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        sully16's avatar - sharan
        Listens to the wind
        Michigan
        United States
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        October 28, 2009
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        Posted: January 30, 2010, 10:11 pm - IP Logged

        Heartbreaking. I hope justice is swift and sure. My prayers to his family.

        There's only one US Flag

          ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

          United States
          Member #56506
          November 21, 2007
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          Posted: January 31, 2010, 12:08 am - IP Logged

          How very sad for Abraham and his family. Frown

          "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

            NYSlugger 777's avatar - 777
            NY
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            August 21, 2007
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            Posted: January 31, 2010, 1:12 am - IP Logged

            "Gee said the remains were found more than five feet beneath the ground in a 30-foot-by-30-foot area where homicide investigators had been told to look for Shakespeare's body."

             

            If these detectives want the public to get to the bottom of this and help us find out who did this crime I certainly hope they reveal  to us sometime soon "who" told them to look for the body at that specific location, and also "why" they were told to look for the body there.

            .

              Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
              Indiana
              United States
              Member #48725
              January 7, 2007
              1841 Posts
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              Posted: January 31, 2010, 1:20 am - IP Logged

              "Gee said the remains were found more than five feet beneath the ground in a 30-foot-by-30-foot area where homicide investigators had been told to look for Shakespeare's body."

               

              If these detectives want the public to get to the bottom of this and help us find out who did this crime I certainly hope they reveal  to us sometime soon "who" told them to look for the body at that specific location, and also "why" they were told to look for the body there.

              I Agree!

              Gonna win.Big Smile

                Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                Miami
                United States
                Member #62793
                July 9, 2008
                669 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 31, 2010, 2:21 am - IP Logged

                What are they waiting for to arrest Dee Dee???

                "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

                  rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                  -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                  United States
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                  April 28, 2009
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                  Posted: January 31, 2010, 7:22 am - IP Logged

                  What are they waiting for to arrest Dee Dee???

                  They're giving Dee Dee time to do stupid things to cover up while she's in a panic. Seeing where she goes, who she visits, who she calls, what she says. 

                   She ain't going nowhere.


                                                               
                                       
                                                           

                   

                   

                   

                   

                                                                                                                     

                  "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                              --Edmund Burke

                   

                   

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    Inglewood
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                    January 31, 2010
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                    Posted: January 31, 2010, 8:13 am - IP Logged

                    "Gee said the remains were found more than five feet beneath the ground in a 30-foot-by-30-foot area where homicide investigators had been told to look for Shakespeare's body."

                     

                    If these detectives want the public to get to the bottom of this and help us find out who did this crime I certainly hope they reveal  to us sometime soon "who" told them to look for the body at that specific location, and also "why" they were told to look for the body there.

                    We have had one murder, let's not have another!

                      Avatar
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                      Inglewood
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                      January 31, 2010
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                      Posted: January 31, 2010, 8:17 am - IP Logged

                      They're giving Dee Dee time to do stupid things to cover up while she's in a panic. Seeing where she goes, who she visits, who she calls, what she says. 

                       She ain't going nowhere.

                      awesome!

                        Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                        Miami
                        United States
                        Member #62793
                        July 9, 2008
                        669 Posts
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                        Posted: January 31, 2010, 3:33 pm - IP Logged

                        She almost got away with it.

                        "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

                          Dollar419's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                          Santa Ana
                          United States
                          Member #71159
                          February 20, 2009
                          651 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 1, 2010, 12:07 am - IP Logged

                          This is such a sad, sad ending to perhaps we will never know now, a good story...God does not like ugly and whom ever did this will eventually pay dearly for this very bad sin...my prayers are to his immediate family....money does not mean a lot right now.Unhappy

                            ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

                            United States
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                            November 21, 2007
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                            Posted: February 1, 2010, 1:31 am - IP Logged

                            They're giving Dee Dee time to do stupid things to cover up while she's in a panic. Seeing where she goes, who she visits, who she calls, what she says. 

                             She ain't going nowhere.

                            I Agree! I am guessing she is the obvious suspect in this whole mess and they aren't going to just let her off the hook.

                            "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."