Skip to Content

Was Abraham Shakespeare ever found?

Abraham Shakespeare was a laborer from Lakeland, Florida who won a $30 million lottery jackpot in 2006. Just three years later, in 2009, he went missing under mysterious circumstances. Shakespeare’s disappearance sparked a high-profile investigation and search effort to try and locate him. Despite extensive searches and media coverage of his strange vanishing, Shakespeare was never definitively located or found alive after 2009. In January 2010, his family was informed that Shakespeare was likely dead based on evidence uncovered by police. His body was eventually discovered in January 2010 buried under a concrete slab. A woman named Dorice “DeeDee” Moore was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for Shakespeare’s death. The tragic and bizarre circumstances surrounding Abraham Shakespeare’s disappearance and murder made national headlines for years as the details gradually came to light.

When did Abraham Shakespeare go missing?

Abraham Shakespeare went missing in April 2009, approximately 3 years after he had won a $17 million lump-sum payout from the Florida Lottery in November 2006. After winning the jackpot, Shakespeare had opted to take a lump-sum payout of $17 million instead of receiving the full $31 million in installments over 25 years. At the time of his disappearance in spring 2009, neighbors and acquaintances said it had been months since anyone had last seen or heard from Shakespeare. It was unclear exactly when he had vanished. He was 43 years old when he went missing.

What were the circumstances of his disappearance?

The details surrounding Shakespeare’s disappearance remained murky for a long time after he went missing. Shakespeare had kept a very low profile after winning his millions in 2006. He was described as reclusive and had distanced himself from many people in his life before he vanished. According to investigators, the last confirmed sighting of Shakespeare was in April 2009 when a police officer interacted with him during a traffic stop. The officer reported nothing unusual about the encounter. At some point over the following months, Shakespeare had completely disappeared. His family did not report him missing until November 2009 – about 7 months after his last confirmed sighting.

How long did it take to realize he was missing?

It took approximately 7 months from Shakespeare’s last confirmed sighting in April 2009 until he was reported missing in November 2009. Shakespeare had become very withdrawn and reclusive after winning the lottery, so it was not immediately alarming to those who knew him that he had not been seen for awhile. However, by November 2009, enough time had passed without anyone hearing from him to raise concerns about his well-being and prompt his family members to report him missing to authorities. The lengthy gap between when Shakespeare was last verifiably seen alive and when he was declared a missing person created challenges and delays for investigators trying to piece together the timeline of his disappearance.

Investigation into Disappearance

After Shakespeare was reported missing by his family in November 2009, detectives began an investigation into his bizarre disappearance. The case quickly gained national attention given the strange and high-profile nature of a lottery winner vanishing entirely.

Who was the lead investigator?

The investigation into Shakespeare’s disappearance was led by Detective David Clark of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Det. Clark pursued an exhaustive search for Shakespeare for months, tracking down leads, interviewing associates of Shakespeare’s, and trying to uncover any evidence or witnesses that could explain what had happened to the missing millionaire lottery winner.

What steps were taken to try to find Shakespeare?

Some of the steps investigators took to try and locate Shakespeare or find answers about his fate included:

– Interviewing Shakespeare’s friends, family members, neighbors and acquaintances to build a timeline and background of his life before vanishing.

– Searching his home and properties for any clues.

– Obtaining phone records, bank records and financial statements to see if there was any recent activity.

– Contacting government agencies for records, documents or surveillance footage that could contain clues.

– Widely publicizing Shakespeare’s case and photos in local and national media to prompt tips from the public.

– Searching landfills and waste facilities for evidence.

– Coordinating large-scale search efforts in areas he frequented.

Despite these exhaustive efforts, there were very few leads and virtually no trace of Shakespeare in the months after he was reported missing. The lack of clues led investigators to increasingly suspect foul play in his disappearance.

Discovery of Remains

In January 2010, investigators made a grim discovery – human remains buried in a concrete slab behind a home in Plant City, Florida. Testing would soon confirm they belonged to the missing Abraham Shakespeare.

When/how were Shakespeare’s remains found?

On January 28, 2010, Shakespeare’s body was found buried under a newly poured concrete slab behind a home in Plant City, Florida. The home was owned by an acquaintance of Shakespeare’s named Dorice “DeeDee” Moore. Acting on a tip, investigators excavated the slab and discovered human remains entombed underneath. DNA testing confirmed it was in fact Shakespeare’s body that had been found.

What was the condition of his body?

Shakespeare’s remains were described as skeletal when they were uncovered. His body had been lying beneath the concrete for an unknown period of time. The hot Florida climate and decomposition from being encased in concrete had accelerated the rate his remains had skeletonized. Medical examiners had to use dental records and DNA testing to identify the body as Shakespeare since it was in such poor condition when found. There were two .38 caliber bullets recovered with his remains, indicating he had been shot dead before being hidden under the slab.

How long had he been buried there?

It was difficult for investigators to conclusively determine exactly how long Shakespeare’s body had been buried under the concrete. They estimated his remains had likely been put there some time between his disappearance in April 2009 and when the slab was poured over the grave in late 2009. Based on the state of decomposition and indications from weathering and insect activity on the bones, the medical examiner projected Shakespeare had been buried for at least several months before being found.

Arrest of Dorice “DeeDee” Moore

Not long after Shakespeare’s body was positively identified, investigators arrested Dorice “DeeDee” Moore – the owner of the property where he had been buried.

Who was Dorice Moore?

Dorice “DeeDee” Moore was a woman who had befriended Abraham Shakespeare after he won the lottery in 2006. She gained his trust and offered to help manage his finances. Later evidence showed she took advantage of Shakespeare, draining his bank accounts, assets and lottery winnings over the years leading up to his disappearance. Moore had control of Shakespeare’s assets and kept his financial affairs secret from his family and others.

What evidence was found against Moore?

Some key evidence that emerged against Dorice Moore:

– Shakespeare’s body had been buried under a slab on property she owned.

– She had taken over $1 million of Shakespeare’s remaining lottery winnings after he vanished.

– Records showed she had made withdrawals and money transfers from Shakespeare’s accounts just prior to his disappearance.

– Phone records placed her near the burial site around when Shakespeare is believed to have been killed.

– Handwriting analysis of legal documents purportedly signed by Shakespeare later proved to be forged by Moore herself.

How did she plead?

Moore initially pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder. Later in the trial process, she changed her plea to no contest while still maintaining she was not directly responsible for his death. Nonetheless, her plea opened her to the possibility of being convicted of murder charges.

Conviction and Sentencing

In December 2012, Dorice Moore was convicted of killing Abraham Shakespeare and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

When was she convicted?

After changing her plea to no contest mid-way through the trial, Dorice Moore was officially convicted of first-degree murder on December 10, 2012. A Florida judge found her guilty of the charges related to killing Abraham Shakespeare.

What sentence did she receive?

Moore was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction. The sentencing occurred in February 2013, at which time the judge handed down the mandatory life sentence.

Is she still in prison?

Yes, Dorice “DeeDee” Moore remains incarcerated in prison currently as she serves her life sentence for the murder of Abraham Shakespeare. She is imprisoned at the Lowell Correctional Institution in Florida. Now in her late 40s, Moore will spend the rest of her life behind bars barring any successful appeal or exoneration.

Aftermath and Theories on Motive

The murder of Abraham Shakespeare stunned many and left open questions about Moore’s motive and exactly how she was able to take advantage of him before his death.

Why did Moore murder Shakespeare?

While only Moore knows all the reasons why she killed Shakespeare, investigators pointed to financial and legal motives. After Shakespeare won the lottery, Moore ingratiated herself to him under the guise of helping manage his money. She then methodically drained his bank accounts, assets and remaining lottery winnings, stealing upwards of $1 million. It is believed she gained his trust by offering to handle his finances and then systematically stripped him of his wealth while also isolating him from friends and family. When Shakespeare likely realized how much she had stolen and turned on her, she murdered him to prevent legal consequences and keep the money.

How was she able to take advantage of him?

A few factors allowed Moore to take advantage of Abraham Shakespeare after he became wealthy:

– Shakespeare was not financially savvy or experienced in managing large assets or sums of money. Moore claimed to have expertise as a businesswoman and accountant.

– He willingly allowed her almost complete control over his bank accounts, property transfers, and remaining lottery payments.

– Shakespeare’s reclusive nature after winning the lottery meant fewer people were in contact with him or aware of his activities, allowing Moore to isolate him.

– She forged documents and signatures to gain access to even more of his money over time.

– His disappearance meant she was able to continue Draining his assets with his family unaware.

– Shakespeare seemed to genuinely trust Moore initially, not realizing her offers to help him came with sinister motives.

Could his murder have been prevented?

It’s possible there may have been opportunities to prevent Shakespeare’s murder if:

– He had not become so withdrawn and reclusive after winning the lottery, which allowed him to be isolated by Moore over time.

– He had appointed someone more trustworthy than Moore to manage his finances rather than giving her total control.

– His assets and financial accounts were dividied between more parties or financial institutions to make it harder for one person to drain and steal them.

– His family or friends had been in closer contact with him leading up to his disapperance and could have identified warning signs or intervened.

– Authorities had begun investigating Moore earlier when suspicions were raised about her handling of his money before his murder.


The disappearance and murder of Abraham Shakespeare is a tragic case that shows the dark side of sudden wealth. While his lottery win should have brought happiness, it ultimately led to his trusting the wrong people and his brutal death. The complicated murder investigation and sensational trial of Dorice Moore kept Shakespeare’s case in the national media spotlight for years before some justice was finally served. While any motive for murder can never be justified, it underscored the need for lottery winners to carefully manage their finances and trust funds. Shakespeare’s murder served as a cautionary tale about protecting oneself from those who would try to prey upon lottery winners and the newly wealthy. Despite a long, intense investigation, there will always be unanswered questions about how exactly events unfolded leading up to his death. The location of Shakespeare’s buried remains at least provided some closure to the mystery of what happened to Abraham Shakespeare after he seemingly vanished with his millions.