Abraham Shakespeare was a Florida lottery winner who mysteriously disappeared in 2009 after winning a $30 million lottery jackpot in 2006. Shakespeare’s disappearance sparked a high-profile investigation and national media coverage as authorities searched for clues to find out what happened to the missing millionaire. Despite extensive searches and investigation, Shakespeare’s whereabouts remain unknown to this day.
- Abraham Shakespeare won a $30 million lottery jackpot in Florida in 2006
- He took a lump sum payment of $17 million after winning
- Shakespeare disappeared in April 2009 at age 42
- Months later, his family reported him missing to authorities
- Police suspect foul play in Shakespeare’s disappearance
Shakespeare’s strange disappearance has intrigued the public for over a decade. Where did he go? Why would a millionaire lottery winner just vanish? Was he murdered or did he disappear voluntarily? The mysterious circumstances surrounding his case have spawned theories but few concrete answers. Authorities investigating Shakespeare’s case have described it as unlike any other missing persons case they have seen before. More than ten years later, the key question still remains unanswered: where is Abraham Shakespeare?
Abraham Shakespeare’s Lottery Win
Before his disappearance, Abraham Shakespeare was a truck driver’s assistant living in Lakeland, Florida. Shakespeare was struggling financially, behind on bills and in debt. In 2006, he purchased a lottery ticket on a whim and amazingly won a $30 million Florida Lotto jackpot. At the time, it was considered the largest single lottery ticket win in Florida state history.
Upon winning, Shakespeare opted to take a one-time lump sum payment of $17 million instead of annual installments. After taxes, he took home just under $14 million. Like many lottery winners, Shakespeare made extravagant purchases after his windfall, including a $1 million home in a gated community, a Rolex watch, and a fleet of cars including a Dodge Viper.
However, Shakespeare shied away from the spotlight that often comes with winning large jackpots. He turned down media interviews and preferred to keep a low profile. Friends described him as a generous man who helped out people in need. According to investigators, Shakespeare spent or gave away most of his lottery winnings in the years after his big win.
In April 2009, Shakespeare disappeared without a trace. He went missing under mysterious circumstances from his home in Lakeland. Based on financial records, Shakespeare was last seen on April 5, 2009. When he initially disappeared, it went largely unnoticed. Shakespeare had been estranged from his family, often going long periods without contact. It was not until months later in November 2009 that Shakespeare’s family realized they had not heard from him and reported him missing to authorities.
At first, Lakeland police were not overly alarmed when relatives reported Shakespeare missing. It was not necessarily uncommon for Shakespeare to be out of touch with family for long stretches of time. However, alarm bells started going off when police dug deeper into Shakespeare’s disappearance. Police made a troubling discovery – despite supposedly being missing for months, Shakespeare’s financial assets kept dwindling after April 2009. This led police to suspect foul play in his disappearance.
Police began investigating Shakespeare’s disappearance as a possible homicide in late 2009. Their investigation uncovered bizarre leads that pointed to something sinister happening to the missing lottery winner.
For starters, Shakespeare’s assets and personal accounts had shown recent activity, even though the man himself had vanished. According to financial records, Shakespeare’s bank accounts kept being emptied and dwindling for months after his disappearance. One of Shakespeare’s homes was sold in January 2009 for a $1 million cash deal, despite the deed being in Shakespeare’s name. Suspiciously, the signature on the deed sale did not match Shakespeare’s handwriting. These money trails led investigators to believe someone else was accessing and depleting Shakespeare’s accounts against his will.
Additionally, Shakespeare’s telephone suddenly went inactive after April 2009. A man matching Shakespeare’s description had not shown up to a required meeting for his benefits. Police also could not uncover any paper trail for Shakespeare leaving the country or traveling elsewhere. The evidence was pointed to Shakespeare either being imprisoned or dead.
Police scoured Shakespeare’s neighborhood and property for clues. Searches of his home and the surrounding area failed to yield any evidence of what happened to him. Shakespeare’s body was never found, leaving authorities without a crime scene or physical evidence. With no body or signs of struggle, police struggled to determine if a homicide occurred and if so, how Shakespeare was killed. Based on the peculiar financial activity, investigators were convinced Shakespeare met with foul play.
As police continued digging into Shakespeare’s disappearance, their investigation centered around two main suspects:
DeeDee Moore – A woman who befriended Shakespeare after his lottery win and became his financial advisor. Police believe Moore took advantage of Shakespeare’s trust, controlling his money while also swindling him out of a large amount of cash. Just before Shakespeare vanished, he told friends he felt Moore was stealing from him and wanted to cut ties with her. Investigators think Moore may have orchestrated Shakespeare’s disappearance to gain access to his remaining multi-million dollar wealth.
Greg Smith – An associate of Shakespeare’s who did yard work for him. Smith was one of the last people to report seeing Shakespeare before he went missing. Police questioned Smith several times, scrutinizing discrepancies in his statements. However, police were never able to directly link Smith to Shakespeare’s disappearance.
While Moore and Smith were scrutinized as prime suspects, authorities could find no smoking gun evidence tying them directly to Shakespeare’s disappearance. With Shakespeare’s body still missing, police struggled to prove if a murder took place at all. Shakespeare’s bizarre vanishing act stymied detectives and remained a confounding mystery years into the investigation.
DeeDee Moore’s Trial
Despite no body or physical evidence, authorities eventually felt they had gathered enough circumstantial evidence to charge DeeDee Moore in connection with Shakespeare’s disappearance.
In February 2010, Moore was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors believed they could prove Moore continued controlling Shakespeare’s assets for her own financial gain even after his disappearance. They pointed to the forged deed signature and the funneling of Shakespeare’s money into Moore’s own accounts as incriminating evidence.
Moore insisted she was innocent and had nothing to do with Shakespeare’s disappearance. She claimed Shakespeare willingly gave her control over his finances. According to Moore, Shakespeare wanted to disappear from public view and willingly cut off contact with his family. She denied any knowledge of what ultimately happened to him.
Moore’s murder trial finally took place in late 2012. Prosecutors depicted Moore as a manipulative con artist who lured in Shakespeare with her charm before orchestrating his murder. The prosecution cited evidence of Moore’s lies and inconsistent statements to police as well as her accessing Shakespeare’s money after he vanished.
However, with no body or physical evidence, the prosecution lacked a definitive smoking gun. Shakespeare’s mysterious disappearance meant jurors heard no eyewitness testimony of his actual death. Ultimately, the circumstantial evidence only painted a partial picture.
After lengthy testimony, the jury found DeeDee Moore guilty of first-degree murder in December 2012. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole for Shakespeare’s presumed killing. However, many questions surrounding Shakespeare’s baffling disappearance still lingered even after Moore’s conviction. With his body still hidden, the location of his remains and definitive proof of his murder continued to elude investigators.
Theories and Speculation
In the absence of hard facts about what happened to Abraham Shakespeare, many theories and speculation have arisen trying to explain his odd disappearance:
He was murdered
The prevailing theory among police is that Shakespeare was murdered at some point in 2009, most likely by someone close to him like DeeDee Moore. His killer then hid his body and took over his assets. However, no body or crime scene has ever been found to conclusively prove this.
He fled to avoid money-hungry people
Some speculate Shakespeare grew fed up with people hounding him for money and voluntarily went off the grid. He may have fled overseas with some of his wealth. But this theory does not explain the accessing of Shakespeare’s money after he vanished.
He met with an accident
There is also conjecture that Shakespeare died by accident or suicide and the person who found him covered it up. But again, no body or other evidence supports this.
He’s still alive
A few far-fetched theories suggest Shakespeare is still alive, either in hiding by his own choice or being held against his will. But these types of disappearing acts are extremely hard to pull off, especially for long periods of time.
He was a victim of foul play
Many believe Shakespeare met an untimely end due to foul play, with the strongest motive being financial gain. Police suspect his inner circle like Moore took advantage of his trust.
Ultimately, Shakespeare’s baffling disappearance has spawned many theories but no definitive answers. The location of his body remains one of Florida’s most confounding mysteries.
Ongoing Search for Answers
Police have continued searching for answers in Abraham Shakespeare’s confounding case, both for clues to his whereabouts and ultimate fate:
- Authorities have periodically chased down leads of possible burial sites where Shakespeare’s body could have been hidden. To date, no remains have ever been found.
- Police questioned DeeDee Moore extensively after her conviction, hoping she might divulge information about the location of Shakespeare’s body. However, Moore has offered no new useful information while maintaining her innocence.
- Investigators have reviewed cases of missing persons and unidentified remains, hoping to uncover any possible connections to Shakespeare.
- In 2020, over a decade after Shakespeare’s disappearance, detectives renewed public calls for any new information that could help solve this baffling cold case.
The Shakespeare case remains open and active with authorities vowing to continue the search for answers. The appeal for tips from the public suggest that even now, over 10 years later, police have not given up hopes of unraveling this enduring mystery.
The Enduring Mystery
Abraham Shakespeare’s strange disappearance stands out as one of Florida’s most perplexing missing persons cases. Over a decade later, definitive proof of Shakespeare’s fate still eludes investigators:
- No body or remains have ever been found.
- No murder weapon or substantive physical evidence has been uncovered.
- The location and details surrounding Shakespeare’s death remain unknown.
These factors have hindered authorities in bringing complete closure to the tragic case. Until Shakespeare’s body is found or new evidence emerges, many questions surrounding his puzzling vanishing act may persist. However, authorities remain determined to see this mystery through and bring answers to Shakespeare’s grieving loved ones.
Timeline of Key Events
|Abraham Shakespeare wins $30 million Florida lottery
|Shakespeare takes lump sum payment of $17 million
|One of Shakespeare’s homes sold for $1 million in cash deal
|Shakespeare goes missing from his Florida home
|Relatives report Shakespeare missing to police
|DeeDee Moore arrested and charged with Shakespeare’s murder
|Moore convicted of Shakespeare’s murder
|Police renew public appeal for new information
The disappearance of Abraham Shakespeare is one of the most perplexing missing persons cases of the 21st century. Over ten years later, his fate and final resting place remain shrouded in mystery. The tragic case highlights how even exorbitant wealth cannot protect against becoming a victim of foul play.
While DeeDee Moore’s conviction delivered some justice, the full truth of Shakespeare’s demise may forever be unknown unless new evidence comes to light. His story serves as a cautionary tale about the darker side of sudden lottery windfalls and shows how vulnerable such winners can be to exploitation.
Ultimately, the open questions in Abraham Shakespeare’s case continue to captivate the public’s imagination and leave many wondering if the truth behind his disappearance will ever come out. Unless there is a breakthrough discovery, the mystery surrounding Shakespeare’s whereabouts seems likely to endure for the foreseeable future.