Miami: Anti-virus software founder John McAfee arrived in the U.S. on Wednesday night after being deported from Guatemala, where he had sought to evade police questioning in the killing of a man in neighbouring Belize.
The American Airlines commercial jet carrying Mr. McAfee landed in Miami shortly before 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday, said Miami International Airport spokesman Greg Chin.
A short time later, a posting on Mr. McAfee’s website announced that he was at a hotel in Miami’s upscale South Beach neighbourhood. He said he arrived by taxi after a group of customs or immigration agents, he didn’t know which, escorted him to an airport taxi stand. Mr. McAfee has frequently communicated through the website.
“I have no phone, no money, no contact information,” the post said. Reached by telephone at the hotel, the 67-year-old Mr. McAfee told an AP reporter that he couldn’t talk because he was waiting for a call from his girlfriend, 20-year-old Belizean Samantha Vanegas.
Ms. Vanegas had accompanied him when he was on the run, but did not go with him to the U.S.
On a blog he has been posting for the past two weeks, Mr. McAfee wrote, “I have been forcibly separated from Sam,” but claimed she would be coming to the United States later.
Mr. McAfee sat in a coach-class seat on the flight, which took off at mid-afternoon from Guatemala City, according to the airline.
Other passengers on the flight told The Associated Press that Mr. McAfee was escorted off the aircraft before others were allowed to disembark.
“They asked us to please stay seated and said, ‘Mr. John McAfee, come to the front,’ and he did,” said Maria Claridge, a 36-year-old photographer from Fort Lauderdale. “He walked very peacefully, chin up. He didn’t seem stressed.”
Ms. Claridge said she did not see what happened to Mr. McAfee after he left the aircraft. She said he was well dressed, in a black suit and white shirt, appeared to be travelling alone and that she didn’t realise who he was until another passenger told her.
“I thought he was either a diplomat or a politician,” she said. “It just seemed eerie to be travelling on an airplane with someone who was in trouble.”
An FBI spokesman in Miami, James Marshall, told the AP in an email that the agency is not involved with Mr. McAfee’s return to the U.S.
Authorities from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals office and the U.S. attorney’s office did not immediately respond to questions about whether Mr. McAfee would be questioned or detained in the U.S. They said there was no active arrest warrant for Mr. McAfee that would justify taking him into custody.
Bystanders in Guatemala City stopped to stare at the passing police convoy that escorted Mr. McAfee to the Central American country’s international airport. People at the airport crowded around the immigration truck carrying Mr. McAfee, straining to take pictures of him with their cellphones.
“I’m free. I’m going to America,” Mr. McAfee said before boarding the plane.
“All I can tell you is, I’m 10 years older, and I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just going to Miami,” he said.
Mr. McAfee said on Sunday that he wanted to return to the United States and “settle down to whatever normal life” he can. “I simply would like to live comfortably day by day, fish, swim, enjoy my declining years.”
Mr. McAfee has acknowledged that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them days before some of the dogs were poisoned, but denies killing Faull.
Mr. McAfee is an acknowledged practical joker who has dabbled in yoga, ultra-light aircraft and the production of herbal medications. He has led an eccentric life since he sold his stake in the software company named after him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about three years ago to lower his taxes.