BELIZE CITY — Police are urging software company founder John McAfee to come in for questioning and help solve the killing of his neighbor on the Caribbean island where they lived, officials said Tuesday.
But McAfee, the creator of the antivirus program of the same name, told The Associated Press in an email that he was not planning to turn himself in.
“Suspect or no, I believe the government wants me out of the way. Too many people have died in custody in this country so I intend to do nothing that puts me in their custody,” said the message from an email account that McAfee identified as his during a conversation with an AP journalist in May.
He gave no indication of his whereabouts.
McAfee, 67, has been identified as a “person of interest” in the killing of 52-year-old Gregory Viant Faull, whose body was found on Sunday. McAfee reportedly told Wired magazine on Monday that he had nothing to do with the death, but feared police would kill him if they find him. He said he hid in the sand when he saw police coming to his house Sunday and put a cardboard box over his head to breathe.
“We want to encourage him to come in,” said Raphael Martinez, spokesman for Belize’s Ministry of National Security, to The Associated Press on Tuesday. “If he feels threatened, we need to tell him, ‘Get someone to go along with you, but come in. Let’s solve this crime and you can free yourself.’”
Martinez said two people have been detained in the investigation for questioning. But he added that police have yet to establish a motive in the crime.
Faull was found with a gunshot wound to his head inside his two-story home north of San Pedro, a town on the island of Ambergris Caye, Martinez said. The housekeeper discovered the body Sunday morning and called police. Martinez said that no charges had been filed in the case.
McAfee told Wired that whoever shot Faull may have been gunning for him instead and mistakenly killed his neighbor.
San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero said that Faull had given the town council a letter complaining that McAfee’s dogs were running loose, chasing cyclists and attacking people and that his security guards were trespassing on other homeowners’ property.
Still, Guerrero said there wasn’t enough evidence for him to say McAfee is a suspect.
“Both of them were my friends. It’s hard. It’s something that has shocked the community,” Guerrero said.
Faull’s family said in a statement that the Orlando, Fla., man, owner of a construction business, had just finished rebuilding his Belize home and was planning to offer it as a vacation rental while he sailed the seas.