The body of software entrepreneur John McAfee remains in a Spanish morgue a year after his death as a legal case lodged by his family to demand further checks is yet to be resolved, authorities and his lawyer said.
McAfee, who launched the world’s first commercial anti-virus software in 1987, was found dead, aged 75, on June 23 last year in his prison cell a few hours after Spain’s high court authorized his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges.
The British-American mogul had been jailed in the Barcelona-area jail for eight months following his arrest after years on the run from U.S. authorities.
The autopsy determined he died by suicide. Prison authorities said he had already attempted to kill himself four months before dying.
Shortly after his death, McAfee’s widow said he was not suicidal and that she would seek “answers.”
“It’s difficult to put into words what life has been like this past year,” Janice McAfee tweeted on Thursday, calling on users to sign an online petition “to help pressure” Spanish authorities to release McAfee’s remains.
The petition, signed by 1,365 people so far, calls for an independent autopsy “to determine if the official cause of death can be challenged or investigated privately”.
McAfee’s family considered the original autopsy to be incomplete and asked for further checks, which were denied by a local judge, said the late entrepreneur’s lawyer Javier Villalba on Wednesday. The family appealed that decision.
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A judge then ruled that McAfee’s body could not be handed to the family until their appeal was resolved, the lawyer said.
Catalonia’s court system did not reply to a request for comment.
The corpse remains at the same Barcelona morgue where the autopsy was conducted, said a spokesperson for the regional government’s justice department, adding that it was uncommon for identified bodies reclaimed by their families to be stored for such a long time.