Tiffani Hill became a wealthy woman with a $2 million scratch-off lottery win in California last year, but family members say she was still unable to escape domestic violence. Police say Hill, 32, and her 23-month-old daughter Leanne were shot to death last week by 42-year-old John Donato, who then turned the gun on himself, People reports. Hill married Donato a few months after the November 2020 lottery win, and they moved to Oklahoma, relatives say. Hill was a registered member of the Choctaw Nation and the murder-suicide is being investigated by the FBI instead of local police because it occurred on tribal land in Oklahoma, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Theresa McGehee, a rep for the family, says she doesn't know if tensions over the lottery money led to the murder, but "there were times it caused conflict between them." Relatives say Hill was a victim of domestic violence and had told them of her plans to escape. "Her mom wants the message [to get out] that Tiffani was trying to get away from it. ... Statistically that is the most dangerous time for anyone involved in domestic violence is around that time of separation," McGehee tells KXII. Hill's other three children, who were home at the time of the crime, are now in state custody. Relatives have started a GoFundMe fundraiser for funeral and travel expenses. (Read more Oklahoma stories.)