BELIZE CITY // John McAfee, founder of the eponymous anti-virus company, is on the run for killing another US citizen in a resort town, Belizean police said Monday.
Police raided Mr McAfee's mansion on Ambergris Caye, an island off the northeastern coast of Belize, late Sunday to question him about the murder of American Gregory Faull. But Mr McAfee was nowhere to be found, said the head of the country's anti-organized crime brigade, Marco Vidal.
Mr Vidal told reporters that Mr McAfee was wanted "for homicide."
But Mr McAfee told the US magazine Wired that he was in fact hiding on the property at the time, burying himself in the sand with a cardboard box over his head in order to breathe.
"It was extraordinarily uncomfortable," he said. "But they will kill me if they find me."
Vidal's officers searched Mr McAfee's mansion several months ago looking for weapons and drugs, and detained him for several hours.
Mr McAfee claims he was arrested at the time because he refused to make a donation to a local politician's campaign.
Florida native Mr Faull, 52, was found dead at his home by his housekeeper Sunday morning.
At the crime scene, investigators found a 9mm shell, "consistent with the wound in the back of Faull's neck," said National Security Ministry spokesman Rafael Martinez.
A police report said there were no signs of a break-in, and that a laptop and cell phone were missing.
Residents of the island, known for scuba diving, tropical fishing and its American expatriate community, told the website Gizmodo that Mr Faull and Mr McAfee had a recent fallout.
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According to Gizmodo, which quoted locals speaking on condition of anonymity, Mr McAfee had displayed increasingly erratic behavior and was estranged from the expatriate community.
Gizmodo also reported that Mr McAfee had been experimenting with psychoactive drugs.
Asked about the shooting of his neighbuor, Mr McAfee told Wired that he knew "nothing" other than Mr Faull had been shot. The anti-virus pioneer even said he was worried that Mr Faull's killers had actually been looking for him.
"Under no circumstances am I going to willingly talk to the police in this country," he told Wired. "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."
Mr McAfee has been living in Belize, a former British colony, for the past four years.
The 67-year-old made millions when he sold his anti-virus software company in the early 1990s.