Authorities Announce “Most Wanted” Fugitive Peter Chadwick Captured by U.S. and Mexican Authorities in Mexico

CASE # 12HF2960  

Authorities Announce “Most Wanted” Fugitive Peter Chadwick Captured by U.S. and Mexican Authorities in Mexico

Peter Gregory Chadwick
Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney’s Office

SANTA ANA, Calif.- Peter Gregory Chadwick, a 55-year-old fugitive who has been the focus of an intense international manhunt since fleeing the country while facing charges for killing his wife, was captured by Mexican and U.S. authorities in Mexico on Sunday, authorities announced today at an Orange County press conference.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis, and U.S Marshal David Singer of the Central District of California made the announcement this morning at the District Attorney’s Office.

Chadwick, 55, of Newport Beach, has been wanted by law enforcement since January 2015 after failing to appear for a court hearing on a charge for murdering his wife in their Newport Beach home. Chadwick is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. The defendant was out of custody after posting $1 million bail on Dec. 21, 2012. The U.S. Marshals Service added Chadwick to its 15 Most Wanted fugitive list in September 2018.

“We promised the community in 2018 when we placed Chadwick on our 15 most wanted we would pursue and bring him back to face justice,” said U.S Marshal David Singer. “Together with our law enforcement partners we have accomplished this and it should be an example for any fugitive on the run.”

On the morning of Oct. 10, 2012, Chadwick is accused of murdering his wife, Quee Choo “Q.C.” Chadwick, in their Newport Beach home over a dispute regarding a possible divorce and related financial issues. He is accused of then disposing of his wife’s body in a dumpster in San Diego County.

That afternoon, neither Chadwick nor the victim arrived to pick up their children from school. Another parent drove the children home and then requested a welfare check from the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) when the Chadwicks could not be located. A subsequent search of the home revealed blood and signs of a struggle inside. Newport Beach Police began investigating the whereabouts of the couple.

Sometime between the morning of the murder and the morning of Oct. 11, 2012, Chadwick is accused of driving to San Diego near the border of Mexico and contacting the San Diego Police Department. The defendant was arrested in San Diego on Oct. 11, 2012. He was out on bail when he failed to appear at a pre-trial hearing in January 2015.

The search for Chadwick took authorities across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Chadwick “strategically placed indicators” such as receipts from the Seattle area and literature about living in Canada in his father’s Santa Barbara home, where Chadwick was living after posting bail.

Authorities learned that Chadwick was receiving assistance from people close to his family, and the investigation led to Mexico, where he was detained by Mexican immigration authorities on Sunday, August 4, 2019 near Pueblo, Mexico.

He was deported by Mexican authorities on Monday, August 5. He is currently being held by the Newport Beach Police Department.

“Our goal since Peter Chadwick became a fugitive has been to bring him back to Orange County so that he can stand trial and answer for his actions,” said Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis.

“We apprehended a fugitive on Americas most wanted list…..but let’s not forget there’s a victim, a lovely lady married for 21 years with three kids who was murdered by her husband, who then mercilessly wrapped her up in a blanket and discarded her body in a dumpster,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “It is now our job as prosecutors to tell her real life story. To make her come alive. And to explain the legacy of what she left behind.”

Chadwick is scheduled to appear at the Central Justice Center in C55 at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. The District Attorney’s Office will be requesting Chadwick not be granted bail.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.