DURHAM, N. C. – A real estate developer’s mysterious death was ruled a homicide by strangulation weeks after his son told that his father was a collar around the neck of the dog in the neighborhood.
The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released a report Friday saying, 59-year-old William Bishop died of lack of oxygen in the brain by strangulation. The report, which noted ligature marks on the neck, classified the death as a murder.
According to the autopsy, one of the Bishop’s teenage sons called authorities the afternoon of 18 April and told that he his father does not react with the belt around his neck. Bishop succumbed to his injuries in the hospital on April 21, according to the autopsy.
The boy told authorities the leash handle was in his father’s hand and the approximately 60 pound Labrador retriever was attached to the leash in the neighborhood, the report said. However, the line was no longer around Bishop’s neck when officers arrived, and the boy told him that he had deleted, according to the report.
The report also said that the boy did not perform CPR because he thought he could not do it and stay on the phone with the authorities.
The Herald Sun first reported the autopsy release. No charges were filed as of Monday.
Bishop was found in a chair less than two weeks after his divorce from the mother of the boy was completed, according to the court documents. The mother lived elsewhere and don’t seem to be in the house as a Bishop was found, when the son called her after that.
The medical examiner noted that he had a history of depression and cancer, and that 2012 will be an accident had rendered his left arm, “are largely functionless.” A toxicology report found no sign of alcohol or drugs.
He was found in the basement of his home in a wealthy neighborhood less than a mile from one of the oldest clubs. County records show the 4000-square-meter house has an estimated value of approximately $800,000.
Bishop and his ex-wife, Sharon, had been separated since the end of 2016. They were married in 1998 in Florida, where the Bishop had worked as a leading developer. A phone listing for Sharon Bishop could not be found through a public records search.
The couple has two boys, ages 17 and 16. William Bishop was granted permanent custody in 2017, according to the court documents. Custody and divorce orders did not elaborate on what caused the couple to split, but show that the woman signed the custody agreement.
The bishop was a well-known developer in Florida Hillsborough County where he is credited with creating a number of master-planned or gated communities, according to a Tampa Bay Times obituary. The newspaper said he moved to North Carolina in 2008 to pursue an advanced degree.
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