Death of developer found with dog leash around neck ruled homicide

The death of a Durham developer who was found dead in his basement in April has officially been ruled a homicide.

The autopsy report released Friday revealed William Bishop died from ligature strangulation.

Bishop's 16-year-old son called police on April 18, saying that he had found his dad unresponsive in their basement with a dog leash wrapped three times around his neck and the dog still attached. He said he removed the leash and called his mother, and then 911.

When EMS arrived, Bishop was in a chair unresponsive. The leash was not on his neck or attached to the dog.

Caller: When I got in there and checked his pulse. He wasn't breathing. His heart wasn't beating.
Operator: Is there anyone else at the home with you?
Caller: No. (pause) I don't know if I can go in there again. I don't want to look at him.
Operator: I understand sir.


The search warrant said Bishop's son told authorities his father had just gone through a divorce and was having issues with his new girlfriend.

The report also stated the victim's son told authorities he was verbally abused by his father and would not be upset if his father died.

Bishop was taken to Duke Hospital where he died three days later.

Last month, court documents were released showing that investigators were looking for evidence in William Bishop's home safe, after discovering a receipt in his office for 25 pieces of gold valued around $463,000.

A loved one told authorities he kept gold, jewelry and cash in a safe.

In May, police went to Durham Academy, where Bishop's son attended school, to search his laptop and emails.

Warrants said a forensic team also went through the teen's iPhone and found suspicious activity, including searches on how to calculate the value of an estate, how to transfer bank accounts and the value of the price of gold per ounce.

No charges have been filed in the case.
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