Peter Chadwick: Millionaire arrested over wife’s murder after four years on the run

Zamira Rahim

A fugitive British-born millionaire suspected of strangling his wife to death has been arrested in Mexico after four years on the run.

Peter Chadwick was arrested by American immigration officials over the weekend and has since been deported to the United States, where prosecutors hope he will stand trial.

Detectives in Newport Beach, California were first called to the house shared by the property investor and his wife Quee Choo Chadwick in 2012.

The couple had failed to collect their two youngest sons from school and a concerned neighbour had contacted the authorities.

Investigators found a broken vase and drops of blood on the floor inside the house, alongside Quee Cho's mobile phone and wedding ring.

The next day Peter called the police and claimed that a construction worker named “Juan” had kidnapped him, killed his wife and fled with her body.

Detectives were left unconvinced and the property investor quickly became the main suspect in his wife's disappearance.

Her body was found a week later in a bin in suburban San Diego.

Peter was charged with first-degree murder and bailed on a $1m (£820,000) bond.

At first the millionaire attended court appearances and surrendered his US and UK passports, but in 2015 he disappeared from his father’s house, having withdrawn large sums of money.

Peter had also researched how to alter his identity, police said.

He went on to become one of the US’ most sought after fugitives and US Marshals placed him on the country’s most-wanted list in 2018. They also offered a $100,000 (£82,000) reward for tips leading to his capture.

Newport Beach officers also wrote and produced a true crime podcast series about him, in an effort to bring attention to the search.

The 55-year-old left clues to make it appear as though he had fled to Canada. But detectives said they believed he had been living in Mexico for the period he was missing.

He was arrested in an area popular with ex-pats near Puebla, officials said.

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

He is now expected to appear in court in Santa Ana this week.

Additional reporting by agencies