Mystery of Missing Lottery Winner Deepens

Lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare
Police are investigating whether foul play is involved in the disappearance of lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare.
LAKELAND (2009-12-07) -

A friend of a Lakeland lottery winner whose gone missing says police are treating her like suspect in his disappearance.

It's just the latest in the strange story of Abraham Shakespeare, who went from rags to riches in 2006.

Shakespeare was reported missing by his cousin last month. Family members say they haven't seen him since April.

On Sunday, the Lakeland Ledger reported that a friend of Shakepeare's, Dorice "DeeDee" Moore, says she helped the millionaire disappear.

She says he wanted to get away from the publicity and money-seekers, and she agreed to buy his house to help him escape.

But now, she says she has no idea where he is, and she's become a suspect in the police investigation.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says police are offering a $5,000 reward for information, but it hasn't helped.

"He has left behind a child who by all accounts he loves very much, and his mother, and he has absolutely disappeared. We have no idea where he may be," Judd said.

Judd said Shakespeare had a colorful criminal history but no major convictions before he won the Florida lottery in 2006. He received a $17 million payout.

Judd said they're investigating the possibility of foul play.

"You must suspect the worst when you've got a large lottery winner who has disappeared," he said.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is urging anyone with information about Shakespeare's location to contact their office.

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