(CN) – A California man who became one of the nation’s 15 most wanted criminal fugitives after he fled the country ahead of a trial on charges of killing his wife in 2012 has been caught in Mexico and was turned over to U.S. law enforcement Monday.
Peter Gregory Chadwick is accused of murdering his wife, Quee Choo Chadwick, on the morning of Oct. 10, 2012, and dumping her body in a dumpster in San Diego County.
That afternoon, neither Chadwick nor his wife picked up their children from school. A parent drove the children home and called the Newport Beach Police Department for a welfare check after no one answered the door.
Police found blood stains and signs of struggle inside the Chadwick home and immediately began investigating the couple’s whereabouts, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement Monday. Spitzer said the couple – which had been married 21 years – may have been arguing about a possible divorce and financial issues.
Chadwick, a British real estate investor, was arrested the next morning by Newport Beach Police. He posted a $1.5 million bond and was released from custody in December 2012. He was ordered to surrender his passports and live with his father in Santa Barbara while awaiting trial.
Chadwick initially told authorities that a handyman kidnapped the couple and force him to dispose of his wife’s body after the man murdered her.
Authorities have been searching for Chadwick ever since he failed to show up for a January 2015 hearing.
The U.S. Marshals Service put Chadwick on its 15 Most Wanted fugitive list in September 2018.
If convicted of the murder charge, Chadwick faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.