Saturday 24 August 2019

Fugitive millionaire arrested in Mexico and charged over his wife's murder after four years on the run

Peter Chadwick was detained by Mexican authorities on Sunday (Newport Beach Police Department via AP)
Peter Chadwick was detained by Mexican authorities on Sunday (Newport Beach Police Department via AP)

Amy Taxin

A millionaire charged with strangling his wife in California has been captured after being on the run for the past four years.

Peter Chadwick, who was the subject of widespread media coverage and was on the US Marshals' most-wanted fugitive list, was arrested by immigration authorities in Mexico on Sunday.

He was deported to the United States and is being held without bail.

Chadwick, who was born in the UK but is a naturalised US citizen, left leads for law enforcement to make it look like he fled to Canada after skipping a court appearance, but officials said they believe he was in Mexico all along.

The 55-year-old property investor from Newport Beach is charged with strangling his wife Quee Choo Chadwick, known as QC, in 2012.

Newport Beach police began investigating after Peter Chadwick failed to pick up his children after school.

Inside the family's home, authorities said they found a broken vase, drops of blood on the floor and QC's mobile phone and wedding ring.

Police Chief Jon Lewis said the next day, Chadwick told authorities that a handyman had killed his wife and kidnapped him and fled with her body.

Chadwick quickly became the suspect, however, and her body was found a week later in a bin in suburban San Diego.

Chadwick was released on 1 million US dollar (€890,000) bail and at first attended court appearances.

When he vanished from his father's California home in 2015, police said he had drawn large sums of cash and researched how to change one's identity.

Last year, the US Marshals added him to the most-wanted fugitive list and a 100,000 dollar (€89,000) reward was announced for tips leading to his capture.

Newport Beach police wrote and produced a six-episode "true crime" podcast about the case in the hopes of intensifying the search.

Authorities declined to pinpoint a specific tip that led them to Chadwick but said they received leads from around the world.

Both his US and UK passports were seized when he was released on bail, officials added.

Chadwick is due to appear in court again on September 16.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News