Millionaire charged with wife's death arrested in Mexico

Newport Beach Police Department shows Peter Chadwick

He was arrested the following day and charged with the murder of his wife, but was later released after posting a $1.5 million bond.

The 54-year-old was flown to California on Monday, Newport Beach police Chief Jon Lewis said in a news conference.

Investigators discovered his bank accounts worth millions of dollars had been cleared out and learned of books that Chadwick had read titled, "How to Change Your Identity", and "How to Live on the Run Successfully", and "Surviving in Mexico", according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

When he failed to appear for a January 5, 2015 court hearing, Newport Beach detectives went to his father's Santa Barbara home and were told the defendant was not living there and no one knew where he was, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service.

Authorities on Tuesday declined to pinpoint a specific tip that led them to Peter Chadwick but said they received leads from around the world. At first, Chadwick - who had several aliases and fake IDs - stayed at high-end resorts but when he needed to show a passport he moved to more modest hostels and residences such as the duplex where he was arrested in an expat community near Puebla, officials said.

When he was released on December 21, 2012, on a $2 million bond, he surrendered his British and American passports and agreed to live with his father in Santa Barbara, according to a federal arrest warrant.

Newport Beach police wrote and produced a six-episode "true crime" podcast past year titled "Countdown to Capture" about the case in the hopes of intensifying the search for Chadwick.

In 2012, Chadwick called police and said his wife, Quee Choo, had been killed by a handyman who had then taken him hostage inside their home in Newport Beach.

Authorities believe Chadwick killed his wife during an argument at their home then dumped her body in a gas station trash bin in San Diego County. "He took her from paradise, this most awesome place in Orange County and after 21 years of marriage he discarded her body in this dumpster", Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said while holding up photos of the dumpster where Quee's body was found and an image of the Chadwick's Newport Beach home. Officers found blood and signs of a struggle. However, when authorities caught up to Peter, the accused killer claimed that someone else killed his wife and forced him to load her body into a vehicle and drive it to the Mexican border. He later pleaded not guilty to one count of murder.

Chadwick was added to the Marshals Service's 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list in 2018 and authorities announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

When Chadwick is arraigned on Wednesday, the DA's office will ask the judge for no bail, Spitzer said. Orange County prosecutors are asking that he be held without bail.

If convicted, Chadwick faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.



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