A millionaire fugitive wanted for allegedly killing his wife has been arrested after being on the run for nearly five years, authorities said.
Peter Chadwick, 55, was arrested late Sunday in Mexico and arrived in Southern California on Monday.
He remained on the lam by using cash to stay at high-end hotels, authorities said Tuesday at a press conference in Orange County. He was forced to move to more humble abodes when passports became required at expensive resorts. He worked odd jobs to generate money and had several fake IDs, Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis told reporters.
"We believe Peter Chadwick has been in Mexico since his disappearance," Lewis said. Intense media coverage generated hundreds of tips, which led to his capture in an ex-pat enclave just outside Puebla, Mexico. He had large sums of cash with him, authorities said.
He was seen in footage taken by CBS News arriving at Los Angeles International Airport in handcuffs.
In 2012, Chadwick reported his wife, Quee Choo Lim, missing in a 911 call made from a gas station near the Mexican border, authorities said.
Chadwick: "My wife's dead. They took her."
Operator: "Who took her?
Chadwick: "The guy broke into my house. He drove me here. He had a friend. They've gone in a pickup truck."
Operator: "OK, so your wife is in it then?"
Chadwick: "She's dead."
Operator: "Oh, so did she die in the house and then they took her corpse?"
Chadwick: "Yes, they, they, they killed, killed her, uh, yesterday."
One week later, her body was found in a dumpster. Police became concerned when Chadwick was unable to explain scratches on his body, which led to his arrest.
In October 2012, he pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of his wife. He was released on $1.5 million bond and ordered to surrender his passport.
He failed to appear at a January 2015 hearing and an arrest warrant was issued. Authorities later said he had emptied multiple bank accounts of millions of dollars. In 2018, he was added to the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list. The Newport Beach Police Department simultaneously released a podcast titled "Countdown to Capture" to help in detaining him.