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Man kills wife and child in murder-suicide two months after £1.5m lottery win

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A woman and her one-year-old daughter were murdered in an horrific crime that is being blamed on a $2million lottery win.

Tiffani Hill, 31, and her child Leanne Donato were fatally shot by Hill’s husband husband John Donato, 42, who then turned the gun on himself.

Authorities in Calera, Oklahoma, said that twenty-three-month-old Leanne survived for a short time after the shooting but died in hospital.

The tragedy unfolded some time before 5:00 pm. on Friday, July 30. The couple’s three other children were reportedly in the home at the time of the killings but were unharmed, according to a police report.

Attorney Theresa McGehee, who represents the Hill family, told reporters that domestic violence had blighted the couple’s relationship.

“Tiffani never reached out to me about anything of that nature,” McGehee clarified, “but I did speak with her mom. And her mom wants the message that Tiffani was trying to get away from it.”

In November last year, Tiffani won a huge lottery prize worth $2 million (£1.4 million) which reportedly led to increased conflict between the couple.

“Could that have sparked that argument? We’ll never have any way of knowing,” McGehee said. “But I do know there were times it caused conflict between them.”

She added that Tiffani had been considering a break from Donato: "Tiffani was trying to make arrangements with her family," she said, "I wonder if this would have had a different outcome had she reached out to the crisis centre."

Tiffani’s family is now urging others in abusive or dangerous situations to see help before it's too late.

Jamie Kern, Hill’s sister, said she was “a kind-hearted, beautiful person.”

“She loved her kids dearly,” she said. “She would barely let them out of her sight. Her main goal in this world was to try and make a difference.”

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge 's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247

  • Shooting
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