A teenage boy was arrested on Friday and charged with murder in the deather of his father, who was found in the basement of the family home with a dog leash tied around his neck, according to police.
Alexander Bishop, 16, of Durham North Carolina, has been charged with the murder and taken to jail.
According to a local news source Bishop called emergency services and told responders that he had found his father unresponsive in the early evening.
William Bishop, 59, was found slouched in a chair in the family’s home theatre with the dog leash still around his neck.
Known by locals as Bill Bishop, the father of two teenage boys was a prominent property developer in Florida and had moved with his family to North Carolina to pursue a doctoral degree.
The state medical examiner ruled Mr Bishop’s death a homicide and said he died from strangulation.
But a local pathologist hired by Mr Bishop’s family has cast doubt on that ruling, saying that “the manner of death in this case should remain undetermined”.
Mr Bishop died three days after the 911 call.
According to the Daily Mail, police have been probing the case for months and are now taking into account wealth as a possible motive for what they believe is homicide.
The 4,000-foot house where the incident occurred is valued at $800,000 ($A1.122 million) and police say there was also a safe filled with gold.
The Mail also reports that Alexander Bishop told a paramedic supervisor that he “wasn’t going to be upset about his father dying”, explaining that his father verbally abused him and his mother for a number of years.
According to the warrant Alexander told investigators that he and his father had been alone in the house at the time of the incident.
Alexander’s mother — and the ex-wife of William Bishop — did not have permanent custody of the two boys.
Mr Bishop’s girlfriend told investigators that Bishop kept $50,000 ($A70,000) in gold and jewellery in a safe located near the home entertainment room, according to documents.
According to the warrant, an examination of the son’s mobile phone showed that he had searched online about the value of gold, how to calculate the value of an estate and how to transfer bank accounts after a death.