Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee has gone into hiding after police came looking for him in connection with the murder of a neighbour.
McAfee went into hiding as police combed his property on Sunday afternoon. Speaking to Wired, he said that he buried himself in sand with a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe.
“It was extraordinarily uncomfortable,” he said. “But they will kill me if they find me.”
Like McAfee, the victim lived on Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize. McAfee maintains that he’s innocent but says that police in the central American country will kill him if they manage to take him into custody.
The victim, says Wired, is 52 year-old Gregory Faull — an American retiree who was found floating face up in his pool with a single gun shot wound to the back of his head.
McAfee says he knows nothing about the shooting and had only heard that Faull had been killed. His real concern is that whoever killed Faull was coming after him. “I thought maybe they were coming for me. They mistook him for me. They got the wrong house,” he said. “He’s dead. They killed him. It spooked me out.”
The incident may be related to the half-dozen dogs McAfee kept on his property. Faull and several other neighbours had filed complaints about the animals with Belizian authorities.
Those charges were dropped, but the antivirus pioneer believes that the authorities used the complaints as an excuse to extend the vendetta he believes they have against him.
The authorities have previously accused McAfee of manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing unlicensed firearms. Gizmodo meanwhile reports that McAfee has admitted to associating with some of the country’s most notorious gangsters.
The tech news site also found evidence that McAfee had been posting on Russian-hosted message board about his attempts to purify the drug commonly referred to as Bath Salts.
“I’m a huge fan of MDPV,” he allegedly wrote. “I think it’s the finest drug ever conceived, not just for the indescribable hypersexuality, but also for the smooth euphoria and mild comedown.”
“The coast guard dropped off a contingent of black-suited thugs at 10:30 tonight at the dock next door,” McAfee told Wired in an e-mail Friday night. “They dispersed on the beach. A half hour later all of my dogs had been poisoned. Mellow, Lucky, Dipsy, and Guerrero have already died.”
He also dismissed any claims that his neighbours might have been involved in killing the animals.
“They’re still dog lovers,” he said. “And I talked to them this morning. No one here would ever poison the dogs.” Faull he said, was “an angry sort of guy but he would never hurt a dog.”
The head of Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit, Marco Vidal confirmed that McAfee was a prime suspect in Faull’s murder but said they had no reason to harm his dogs: “This guy amazes me every day. We don’t have anything personal against Mr. McAfee. There is no need for us to poison dogs.”
“Under no circumstances am I going to willingly talk to the police in this country,” he said. “You can say I’m paranoid about it but they will kill me, there is no question. They’ve been trying to get me for months. They want to silence me. I am not well liked by the prime minister. I am just a thorn in everybody’s side.”
Wired reports that McAfee has no intention of leaving Belize, despite having to go on the run.
Here is the full police statement:
On Sunday the 11th November, 2012 at 8:00am acting upon information received, San Pedro Police visited 5 ¾ miles North of San Pedro Town where they saw 52 year old U.S National Mr. GREGORY VIANT FAULL, of the said address, lying face up in a pool of blood with an apparent gunshot wound on the upper rear part of his head apparently dead. Initial investigation revealed that on the said date at 7:20am LUARA TUN, 39years, Belizean Housekeeper of Boca Del Rio Area, San Pedro Town went to the house of Mr. Faull to do her daily chores when she saw him laying inside of the hall motionless, Faull was last seen alive around 10:00pm on 10.11.12 and he lived alone. No signs of forced entry was seen, A (1) laptop computer brand and serial number unknown and (1) I-Phone was discovered missing. The body was found in the hall of the upper flat of the house. A single luger brand 9 mm expended shells was found at the first stairs leading up to the upper flat of the building. The body of Faull was taken to KHMH Morgue where it awaits a Post Mortem Examination. Police have not established a motive so far but are following several leads.