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McAfee Founder’s Neighbor Dead in Belize After Dogs Poisoned

Photographer: Chris Richards/The New York Times via Redux

John McAfee at his home in Rodeo, New Mexico, on June 4, 2009. Close

John McAfee at his home in Rodeo, New Mexico, on June 4, 2009.

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Photographer: Chris Richards/The New York Times via Redux

John McAfee at his home in Rodeo, New Mexico, on June 4, 2009.

John McAfee, the founder of the popular anti-virus software maker, is considered “a person of interest” in the murder of U.S. citizen Gregory Faull and has yet to be located, Belize National Security Ministry spokesman Raphael Martinez said.

The two Americans, whose homes on the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye were separated by a few yards, had “some sort of conflict” which was thought to be linked to McAfee’s dogs, Martinez said in an interview today. Four of McAfee’s dogs were poisoned last weekend, Martinez said, and Faull, a 52-year-old contractor and Florida native, was found dead on Nov. 11, with a bullet wound in the back of his head.

National police are continuing to search for McAfee, who Wired magazine reported is hiding within the Central American nation, citing a phone interview with the former entrepreneur.

“All police precincts across the country have been alerted of the case and are on the look-out for Mr. McAfee,” Martinez said. “Hopefully by now he knows police are looking for him. At this time, the police are asking for him to come in for questioning about the case.”

Buried in Sand

McAfee, who founded the Santa Clara, California-based McAfee Inc. in 1989, buried himself in the sand with a cardboard box over his head when police arrived at his home on Nov. 11, according to the report by Wired. He remains in hiding because he believes he’ll be killed if he’s taken into custody for questioning, the story said.

Martinez said that two suspects in the murder have been detained and brought in for questioning. A laptop computer and iPhone were missing from Faull’s home, he said. Martinez said he didn’t have contact information for a lawyer for McAfee.

“We urge law enforcement authorities in Belize and internationally to bring those responsible to justice quickly,” Faull’s family said in a statement e-mailed today by Texas-based DPK Public Relations.

McAfee told Wired Magazine that he was innocent and that he was worried that Faull’s killers may have been pursuing him and made a mistake by killing Faull.

Yoga Enthusiast

McAfee, a yoga enthusiast and author of books on the topic, relocated to Belize in 2008 after his $100 million fortune was reduced to $4 million after a series of failed investments in property, real estate and bonds at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to a 2009 article in the New York Times. Intel Corp. (INTC) agreed to buy McAfee Inc. for $7.68 billion, at the time its largest acquisition, in 2010.

McAfee spokeswoman Tracy Ross said the company doesn’t comment on former employees and that he “retired from McAfee in 1994, and has not had any affiliation with the company since then,” in an e-mail response to requests for comment.

Since arriving in Belize, McAfee, 67, made headlines in May when his beachfront home was raided by the Central American nation’s police on suspicion of drug production. McAfee said the raid was government orchestrated and that one of his dogs was killed during the operation, according to an interview with newspaper the Belize Reporter.

“I love Belize,” he said in the video interview after the raid. “I have no intention of giving up on Belize in anyway what so ever.”

U.S. Military Veteran

Faull purchased his home on Ambergris Caye several years ago, his family said in today’s statement. As a long-time contractor, Faull used his expertise in construction to rebuild the home, which had been damaged in a hurricane, according to the statement.

Faull served in the U.S. Navy and Marines and spent his adult life as a contractor in Florida, working on projects at Disney World and other theme parks, his family said. He also built an on-campus restaurant known as Tailgaters Smokehouse & Spirits at the University of Central Florida, the statement said.

“Losing Greg leaves a hole in our hearts and our lives,” his family said the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Williams in San Jose, Costa Rica at awilliams111@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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