Jackpot Winner's Granddaughter Found Dead
By APRIL VITELLO
Associated Press Writer
SCOTT DEPOT, W.Va. - The 17-year-old granddaughter of Jack Whittaker, winner of the nation's biggest undivided lottery jackpot, was found dead Monday along a country road, more than two weeks after she disappeared.
The cause of death was under investigation. Authorities said there were no obvious signs of violence. An autopsy was planned.
Brandi Bragg's body was identified by tattoos on her neck, said State Police Sgt. Jay Powers. "The troopers had talked to her in the past and knew her," Powers said.
The body was found in a grassy area about 50 feet off a road near Scott Depot. Brandi, who lived in the nearby town of Hurricane, was last seen alive on Dec. 4 at the home of a friend on that same road.
Whittaker, a contractor who on Christmas Eve 2002 won a $314.9 million jackpot, reported her missing five days later.
Whittaker has had several brushes with the law since he won the prize. Earlier this month, a magistrate ordered him to go into rehab and surrender his driver's license after his second drunken driving arrest this year.
He has also been accused in two lawsuits of assaulting female employees of a racetrack. And his vehicle, business and home have been broken into.
In September, an 18-year-old friend of his granddaughter was found dead at Whittaker's home. That death remains under investigation. Whittaker was out of town at the time.