LAKELAND — The woman called "the person of interest" in the death of Lakeland Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare denied Monday night that she killed him, but admitted that she helped cover up his murder.
"God knows I did not pull that trigger and the court system will prove that," Dorice "DeeDee" Moore, 37, said. "I'm guilty of covering up his death. I will go to jail, and I will prove my innocence."
Mr. Shakespeare, 43, won a $11 million lump sum Lotto payout in November 2006. His body was found Thursday under a concrete slab at a house on State Road 60 southwest of Plant City.
Hillsborough sheriff's officials initially told the media Monday that they planned to release Shakespeare's cause of death by the end of the day, but that never happened.
Moore, who befriended Shakespeare and acquired his assets, said through text messages to the Ledger and in a phone interview late Monday that she has told investigators what happened to Shakespeare.
"I would never hurt anyone in my life," Moore said. "I'm truly sorry to Shakespeare's family and friends. My heart goes out to them."
Moore said she has told investigators who pulled the trigger and she expects arrests will be made. She said there are witnesses to what happened.
"I know what I've done," she said. "I'm not worried. I didn't need to steal from him; he would do whatever I wanted."
Moore said Shakespeare's death was a result of him being robbed by someone else.
She said she had good reason for not coming forward sooner but would not give any specific details.
"I like to live and breathe and I don't want to worry every time I step out my door because the Sheriff's Office cannot protect me 24-7," she said.
The investigation into the disappearance of Shakespeare began in November when a cousin, Cedric Edom, reported him missing to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
Shakespeare was last seen in April. His remains were found last week behind a two-story house and beneath a concrete slab in Hillsborough County.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office initially launched an investigation into Shakespeare's disappearance, which was turned over to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office after his body was found.
Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee said the remains were found more than 5 feet beneath the ground in a 30-by-30-foot area where homicide investigators had been told to look for the body.
Investigators spent three days digging for Shakespeare's remains and identified his body through fingerprints.
Earlier in January, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd identified Moore as a person of interest in the investigation. She has not been charged.
Moore initially told the Ledger that she helped Shakespeare disappear and filmed him on video saying he wanted to leave to get away from people pestering him for money.