Trending | Crime

Cops Need Your Help To Bring The “Millionaire Murderer” To Justice

Newport Beach Police Department

It has all the makings of a Hollywood thriller: a cold case that involves a millionaire couple, a broken marriage, and a suspect on the run from the law.

But this case is all too real for the California's Newport Beach Police Department.

And they're taking extreme steps to uncover new leads in their hunt for a man they call the "Millionaire Murderer."

"I think he snapped."

Peter Chadwick
Peter Chadwick, his wife Quee Choo, and their children on a family vacation.Newport Beach Police Department

Real estate investor Peter Chadwick and his wife Quee Choo (called QC by her family) seemed to be living the American dream in 2012.

They had been married for more than two decades, with a growing family and a multi-million dollar home.

But when the Chadwicks went missing on October 10, the details of their perfect life began to unravel.

Police arrived at the Chadwicks' home after both parents neglected to pick up their youngest son from school that day.

When they arrived, they discovered a broken vase, blood splatters, and a ransacked safe, but no sign of Peter or QC.

The next day, Chadwick called police from a payphone, with a dramatic story about a day laborer named "Juan" who had murdered his wife.

Police saw through the story right away - Juan had never existed, and there were incriminating scratch marks on Chadwick's neck.

Peter Chadwick
A crime scene photo from the bathroom.Newport Beach Police Department

"I think he snapped," said Newport Beach Police Detective Sgt. Ryan Peters, who revealed QC had probably discovered Chadwick was cheating on her before she was murdered.

Chadwick was soon arrested and charged with murder, and later led police to QC's body, stashed in a dumpster outside San Diego.

But in spite of the overwhelming evidence against him, Chadwick would never face his day in court.

The Escape Plan

Chadwick originally pleaded not guilty to QC's murder, and spent two months in jail before posting a $1 million bail.

As a condition of his release, Chadwick handed over his passport to authorities. But investigators say the wealthy investor was already plotting his escape.

In 2015, after cooperating with his trial for three long years, Chadwick suddenly missed one of his court dates.

Chadwick's family told investigators they had no idea where he could be, but his father later confessed to U.S. Marshals that he had left for Seattle.

Police now believe Chadwick started working out the details of his vanishing act "as soon as he was captured."

Even after paying his huge bail fee, investigators say Chadwick was able to withdraw at least $600,000 from a family trust.

A police spokesperson said Chadwick had access to "millions of dollars" at the time of his escape.

Investigators later discovered books like Surviving in Mexico, How to Change Your Identity, and How to Live on the Run Successfully in Chadwick's home.

A "Most Wanted" Fugitive

ID Now: Quee Chadwick

Where is Peter Chadwick hiding? Watch every episode of ID Now unlocked on ID GO >> http://bit.ly/2zvO2bL

Posted by Investigation Discovery on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Three years after his disappearance, authorities are so desperate for new leads in Chadwick's case that they're asking the public to join their global manhunt.

Chadwick was become one of the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 Most Wanted fugitives, and police say he could be "anywhere in the world" by now.

To spread awareness about the cold case, the Newport Beach Police Department has announced a true crime podcast series called "Countdown to Capture" which will explore Quee Choo's murder and Chadwick's disappearance in depth.

An interactive website for the six-episode series also features details of the two cases and crime scene photos.

Our new project has officially begun! At a news conference today, we announced "Countdown to Capture", a true crime...

Posted by Newport Beach Police Department on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The department says the unconventional approach is required because publicity is the only way to counteract Chadwick's wealth.

"He's got the financial means to avoid the restrictions placed on his travel and he's taken every opportunity to hide his tracks," said Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis.

"We want to spread his picture and the story of his crimes far and wide. We want everyone to be looking for Peter Chadwick."

Police suspect Chadwick is living abroad, and say the businessman has travel experience in China, Malaysia, Canada, and Thailand.

"Here is a guy next door, and in one part he is an American success story and the other part he is an American nightmare, using his intelligence and wealth to avoid capture," said Long Beach Police Detective Joe Pirooz.

But the detective adds that "as long as there are leads and information to check on," the U.S. Marshals will do so.

It's worth noting that there's a $100,000 reward for information leading to Chadwick's arrest and capture. But police also say Chadwick may be armed and dangerous, so do not approach him or confront him.

Earlier this year, the Newport Beach Police Department used social media to try and crack another cold case, with their interactive story #Linda's Story.

Anyone with information related to the Peter Chadwick's whereabouts can call the U.S. Marshals Service's tip line at 1-800-336-0102

[H/T: People, Fox News, Orange Country Register, LA Times]

Let's hope this new approach will finally bring Quee Choo's killer to justice!

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com