Spanish authorities opened an investigation into the death of software pioneer John McAfee after he was found dead in his jail cell from an apparent suicide.
His body was found Wednesday at a facility near Barcelona, hours after a Spanish court ordered his extradition in connection with a federal criminal proceeding in Tennessee. Mr. McAfee, the 75-year-old founder of antivirus software company McAfee Corp., had been detained in Spain since October in connection with criminal charges filed by the Justice Department’s tax division.
“Everything points that it could be a death by suicide,” a spokeswoman for the Justice Department of the Catalan regional government told The Wall Street Journal Thursday.
The spokeswoman said that a local judicial delegation is investigating the cause and circumstances of Mr. McAfee’s death and took his body away from the jail to carry out an autopsy.
Mr. McAfee’s body was found in his cell at around 7 p.m. local time. Security personnel tried to resuscitate him, but the jail’s medical team later declared him dead, the spokeswoman said.
Mr. McAfee shared the cell with another man, but he was alone when he was found, she said. The spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment further.
“John was and will always be remembered as a fighter,” said Nishay K. Sanan, an attorney representing Mr. McAfee in U.S. criminal proceedings. “He tried to love this country but the U.S. Government made his existence impossible.”
Do you need help? The contact number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
Last year, Mr. McAfee had filed a request to Spanish judicial authorities to be freed while waiting for a decision on his extradition to the U.S.
However, in December, a court rejected his request, saying he was a flight risk and that remaining in the jail near Barcelona didn’t pose a risk to his health.
Mr. McAfee founded the company that still bears his name in 1987, but he sold his stake in the 1990s for more than $100 million.
—Bowdeya Tweh contributed to this article.
Write to Giovanni Legorano at [email protected]
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