A British-born millionaire suspected of murdering his wife was apprehended in Atlixco, Puebla, on Sunday after four years on the run. Authorities say a true-crime podcast was instrumental in his capture.
Peter Chadwick, 55, a naturalized United States citizen, vanished in 2015 after failing to appear in court for a hearing for the murder of his wife of 17 years, Quee Choo, in their home in Newport Beach, California, in 2012. Chadwick initially told police that a handyman had killed his wife and taken him hostage, forcing him to drive and dump his his wife’s body at a location near the Mexican border.
However, police found bite and scratch marks on Chadwick’s body and blood under his nails and placed him under arrest. A week later, investigators found Quee Choo’s body in a dumpster on a rural road in eastern San Diego County.
However, the suspect had no previous criminal record so the presiding judge determined that he was not a flight risk and released him on US $1 million bail. After he failed to make his court date in 2015, Chadwick became the focus of an international manhunt and was later added to the U.S. Marshals’ 15 most wanted list.
The search was also the subject of a true-crime podcast called Coundown to Capture, which led to hundreds of tips as to the whereabouts of the murder suspect, said Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis.
Finally, investigators received a tip that pinpointed Chadwick’s location in Atlixco, where he was detained by police officers immigration agents, who turned him over to U.S. authorities.
Police said that Chadwick drained his bank accounts before making his escape to Mexico. During his years as a fugitive, Chadwick used aliases and false IDs and even learned Spanish to evade authorities.
Chadwick appeared before a judge on Wednesday, who denied bail.