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McAfee's hasty, secret exit from Belize ends in Guatemalan detention

By Lateef Mungin and Miguel Salay, CNN
updated 10:55 AM EST, Thu December 6, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • John McAfee could be deported to Belize on Thursday, a Guatemalan official says
  • Guatemalan immigration authorities detain him a day earlier
  • His lawyer files a request for asylum with the Guatemalan government

Guatemala City (CNN) -- Four poisoned dogs. A dead neighbor. A millionaire on the run.

Come Thursday, deportation may be the latest twist to the saga of software mogul John McAfee.

McAfee , who was on the run for weeks to evade questioning in his neighbor's death, was detained in Guatemala on Wednesday after entering the country illegally, officials there said.

He may be sent back to Belize on Thursday so officials there can question him, said Francisco Cuevas, a spokesman for Guatemala's president.

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For those following the tale of McAfee, the man who amassed a fortune by running and then selling an antivirus software company named after him, this new twist should come as no surprise.

His arrival in Guatemala is the latest scene in a true story that reads like a Hollywood tale.

The case began to unfold on November 9, when McAfee told police someone had poisoned four of his dogs. To put them out of their misery, he shot each in the head and buried them on his property, a former girlfriend said.

Officials say the dogs' barking and aggressive behavior was a frequent source of friction between McAfee and his neighbor, American businessman Gregory Faull.

Then Faull turned up dead -- two days after the poisoning -- with a gunshot wound to the head. He was in his own living room.

A 9 mm shell was found on the second step on the first floor, and Faull was found dead on the second floor of the home in a remote area of Belize.

Authorities in Belize have wanted to question McAfee about the death. He refused and then went into hiding.

Three people have been detained for questioning in the killing, police have said, and investigators are pursuing multiple leads.

"I had nothing to do with his death," McAfee wrote on his website Tuesday in a message to Faull's family. "I have lost five close family members in my 67 years and I know your suffering."

Though being in hiding, the Internet tycoon has kept an active online presence.

He also granted an interview to CNN last week to explain why he did not want to talk to police.

He said he feared for his life. He said authorities wanted to persecute him for his refusal to pay a bribe.

"I will certainly not turn myself in, and I will certainly not quit fighting. I will not stop my blog," he said.

His blog and accusations seemed to anger and baffle authorities in Belize.

"He's really gone out of his way to make the country look bad, and we just believe he should, if he's innocent as he's saying he is, he should bring in his lawyer, and let's get to the bottom of this and say what he needs to say and let's move on," Raphael Martinez, a spokesman for the Belize Police Department, said this week.

Then McAfee turned up in neighboring Guatemala on Wednesday, to the surprise of authorities there.

That same day, the country's foreign minister said he did not know how McAfee got there. There was no registry of McAfee entering legally at any official border crossing, Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros told reporters.

His lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, filed a formal request for asylum with Guatemalan officials Wednesday.

But by Wednesday night McAfee, was detained and his asylum request was "suspended," said the presidential spokesman.

"Any citizen of any country must be expelled if they enter Guatemala illegally. This is what has occurred at this time. Because of this, he is in the custody of immigration, so they can conclude the administrative process, and then he will be expelled from the country," Cuevas said.

It was unclear what the next move would be in this saga that has now become an international news story.

But it seems the next chapter will be written right where this all started.

Belize.

A bizarre visit to John McAfee's pleasure palace in Belize

CNN's Lateef Mungin contributed from Atlanta and journalist Miguel Salay from Guatemala

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