In 2006, Shakespeare won millions of dollars in a Florida Lottery jackpot. In April 2009, he disappeared without trace.
“It’s clearly a human body,” Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said. “We have a presumption that it’s him.”
The remains were unearthed on Thursday, underneath a concrete slab between Plant City and Brandon in eastern Hillsborough County. The property is believed to belong to the boyfriend of Dorice “DeeDee” Moore, a woman whom police have considered a person of interest in the case. Moore became acquainted with Shakespeare in 2007 and reportedly became his financial adviser. In December 2009, Moore allegedly told police that she helped Shakespeare disappear. Police say Moore transferred more than $1 million from Shakespeare’s bank account into hers, money she claims was a gift.
According to Gee, the investigation into Shakespeare’s disappearance led authorities to the area after they began to suspect he had met with foul play.
“Our indications were it would be there,” Gee said, declining to give more specific information.
Investigators remained on the scene Friday, searching for additional evidence in the case. The Hillsborough medical examiner’s office has been charged with identifying the remains. It will also attempt to determine a cause of death and how long the remains have been buried at the site. According to Gee, the entire process could take several weeks to complete.
Shakespeare, a 43-year-old truck driver’s assistant from Lakeland, Fla., won a $31 million lottery jackpot in 2006. The following year he won a court challenge from another trucker who accused him of stealing the winning ticket from his wallet. Although he vanished in April 2009, his family did not report him missing until November. According to police, Shakespeare’s family believed he was hiding out because of people who were allegedly attempting to get their hands on his money.
With Thursday’s discovery, investigators are now changing the focus of the case to a murder investigation.
“Somebody put that body in that hole,” Gee said. “This isn’t by any means just where we find someone on the side of the road. Somebody has obviously put him there.”
No suspects have been named in the case.
Source: David Lohr: AOL News