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By Barbara Liston
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - The family of an American murdered in Belize expressed shock and frustration that U.S. software pioneer John McAfee, who has been named a person of interest in the killing, can stay freely in Miami Beach while the Belize authorities want to question him.
"I'm shocked by this ... he's running around footloose and fancy free in Miami. How in the world can that be?" William Keeney, the stepfather of murder victim Gregory Faull, said to Reuters on Thursday.
McAfee, 67, went into hiding after Faull was shot in November in Belize. He made his way secretly to Guatemala but the authorities there deported him on Wednesday night to the United States.
Police in Belize want to question McAfee as a "person of interest" in Faull's killing but authorities there say he is not a prime suspect. McAfee has denied any role in Faull's death.
Belize police acknowledge that their country's extradition treaty with the United States extended only to suspected criminals, a designation that did not apply to McAfee.
McAfee, an eccentric tech pioneer, made a fortune from the anti-virus software bearing his name and had lived in Belize for four years.
Keeney told Reuters he was stunned to hear McAfee telling reporters he was staying in an oceanfront hotel in the tony neighbourhood known as South Beach and giving a radio interview from a local nightclub.
McAfee told Reuters on Wednesday before his plane took off from Guatemala that he had no immediate plans after reaching Florida.
"I'm just going to hang in Miami for a while. I like Miami," he told Reuters by telephone. "There is a great sushi place there and I really like sushi."
Keeney said he would like to see restrictions placed on McAfee to prevent him from disappearing again and hoped that Belize police would question McAfee in Miami.
"He's expressed some fear that if he was in Belize and they had their hands on him he'd be hurt. Okay, have them come up to Miami ... That would settle that and we could put it behind us. And if he's guilty of something, I guess that would be revealed at that time. And if not, well, we'd get beyond it and find out just what it was that happened," Keeney said.
Keeney said he and Faull's mother, Eileen Keeney, spent 10 days with their son at his Caribbean vacation home on the Belize island of Ambergris Caye where McAfee and Faull were neighbours, leaving two days before the murder.
Keeney said Faull, 52, who owned a sports bar on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, seemed very relaxed. He had never mentioned any troubles or spoken of mentioned McAfee at all.
He said no one, including Faull, mentioned the complaints some of the neighbours had about McAfee and his unruly dogs.
"We walked by his place maybe a half a dozen times or more ... and I never knew who lived there," Keeney said. "In all the conversations I had, he was never mentioned."
Now, Keeney wants to know what's going through McAfee's head.
"Why in the world is John McAfee working so hard not to meet with those people in Belize that are charged with the job of solving this crime. Why won't he cooperate?" Keeney said.
Eileen Keeney said she is "barely" holding up after the death of her son.
"It has been very rough. I'll do fine, and then a memory will hit me and it just devastates me," she said.
McAfee has said authorities in Belize are persecuting him because he refused to pay them $2 million in bribes. He has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Faull's killer.
A spokesman for the Keeney's called that "a hollow gesture" and said if McAfee really wants to solve the murder he would meet with the Belize police and answer their questions.
(Editing by Jane Sutton and David Storey)
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