Fugitive, Murder Suspect Peter Chadwick in Custody

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Peter Chadwick’s booking photo
— Photo courtesy OCDA

The hunt for a fugitive and murder suspect from Newport Beach came to an end this week as the one of the most wanted suspects in the country was arrested and is now in the hands of U.S. authorities.

Peter Gregory Chadwick, 54, is in custody of the Newport Beach Police Department, NBPD spokeswoman Heather Rangel confirmed in an email Monday.

Details of how or where he was apprehended were not available yet. Although he was reportedly found in Mexico, it has not been confirmed. A press conference is planned for Tuesday morning and more information will be shared.

Chadwick was placed on the U.S. Marshals Service 15 most wanted list and a $100,000 reward was offered in September.

At a press conference in September, authorities emphasized that Chadwick has a “great deal” of money at his disposal and could be anywhere in the world. Before he disappeared, Chadwick emptied out bank accounts and took out cash advances on credit cards, resulting in millions of dollars.

Peter Gregory Chadwick at the time of his arrest.
— Photo courtesy NBPD

On Oct. 10, 2012, neither Chadwick nor his wife, Quee Choo “Q.C.,” arrived to pick up their three children from school. Another parent spotted the kids, who had been waiting for more than an hour at the pick-up location, and drove them home.

After failing to get ahold of either Chadwick parent, the neighbor then requested a welfare check from the Newport Beach Police Department.

A subsequent search of the home by NBPD revealed blood and signs of a struggle inside the home. NBPD began investigating the whereabouts of the couple.

The following day, Peter Chadwick called 911 from a San Diego gas station. He told local authorities that his wife had been killed by a handyman, who had subsequently kidnapped him, and then taken her body.

Chadwick, however, quickly became the primary suspect in his wife’s death. Detectives who interviewed him doubted his story, especially when they noticed scratches on his neck and dried blood on his hands. He was arrested for the crime later that day, police reported.

One week later, Q.C. Chadwick’s body was discovered in a dumpster in the 12000 block of Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside in San Diego County.

Newport Beach Police Department Chief Jon Lewis speaks at a press conference in September about the search for murder suspect, Peter Gregory Chadwick.
— Video screenshot courtesy NBPD

Peter Chadwick allegedly strangled his wife to death at their Newport Beach home over a dispute regarding a possible divorce and related financial issues, according to authorities.

Chadwick was out of police custody after posting $1 million bail on Dec. 21, 2012.

A native of the United Kingdom, Chadwick was ordered to surrender his passports and stay with his father in Santa Barbara to await his trial.

The defendant had made 13 court appearances before disappearing after he failed to appear for a scheduled pre-trial hearing in Jan. 2015, and became a fugitive from justice.

Authorities contacted the U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, who discovered books Chadwick allegedly read about how to change one’s identity and live off the grid.

A reward of up to $25,000 was offered by the U.S. Marshals for information leading directly to his arrest, with an additional reward of up to $75,000 offered by the city of Newport Beach and private donors.

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