In October 2012, all hell broke loose when Peter Chadwick and his wife, 46-year-old Quee Cee “Q.C.” Chadwick, suddenly disappeared from their Newport Beach, California, home. While Peter contacted the authorities the following day, the investigation revealed that Quee Cee Chadwick was killed. CBS News’ ‘48 Hours: Peter Chadwick Caught’ focuses on what led the police to suspect Peter in his wife’s death and how he eluded the police for years before being captured. So, let’s find out where he might be today then, shall we?
Who is Peter Chadwick?
Peter, a UK-born real estate investor, met Q.C. in college. The two married in 1991 and went on to have three sons together. At the time of the incident, the oldest son was away at boarding school, and the rest lived in a wealthy community in Newport Beach. Things began to go awry on October 10, 2012, when neither Peter nor Q.C. went to pick up their two sons from the bus stop after school.
Another parent picked them up and asked for a welfare check at the home of the Chadwicks. Inside, there was no sign of Peter or Q.C. However, there were signs of a struggle in the master bedroom. Apart from broken glass and what seemed like a bloody towel, the authorities found what appeared to be blood around the bathtub, and the safe was open. The search for the couple caught a break when Peter called 911 from a gas station in San Diego, California, close to the Mexican border.
Peter then told the police that on the morning of October 10, he picked up Juan, a painter, to look over some work at the house. He then claimed that Juan strangled and drowned Q.C. in the bath, holding him at bay with a knife. According to Peter, Juan forced him to drive around all night before meeting up with someone else named Chee at a gas station. He stated that the two men transferred Q.C.’s body into another truck and left.
However, the police didn’t believe Peter’s story. While he claimed his wife was killed at around 11 am, surveillance showed his car leaving the residential community more than two hours later and there was nobody else inside. Eventually, he admitted to making up the story about the painter and directed them to where Q.C.’s body was. In a dumpster in Lakeside, California, the police found Q.C.’s belongings, $10,000 in cash, and her body wrapped in a blanket.
Peter was charged with murder but was released in December 2012 after posting bail. At the time, he surrendered his U.K. and American passports and was to live with his father in Santa Barbara, California. However, Peter didn’t attend a pre-trial hearing in January 2015. By then, nobody knew where he was. The authorities then learned that Peter withdrew close to a million dollars and had been reading up on changing identities and living on the run. Furthermore, the investigators believed he had help from family.
The police found out Peter went to the Santa Barbara airport on January 9, 2015, in a cab. But six hours later, he left in a different vehicle after changing his clothes. Peter even tried to misdirect the authorities by placing clues suggesting he fled to Canada. Over the next few years, Peter lived in luxury hotels and resorts in Mexico until they began asking for passports. Then, he stayed at hostels and worked odd jobs for income. Peter used several identities and never stayed in one place for too long.
Where is Peter Chadwick Today?
Several tips led the authorities to Puebla, Mexico, in August 2019. Peter Chadwick was found in a residential duplex where several other American expatriates lived. In February 2022, then 57-years-old, Peter pled guilty to one count of second-degree murder. He said in court, “I wish I could take it back. I compounded that by running away from it. I destroyed everything, so I deserve whatever the court decides.”
The authorities believed that Peter killed Q.C. after getting into an argument with her regarding a potential divorce and some financial issues. He was then sentenced to 15 years to life behind bars with no credit for time served. Prison records indicate that Peter remains incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California. He will be eligible for parole in February 2031.