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Missing Newport Beach woman case: Police tip leads to unidentified body

October 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Newport Beach police detectives found an unidentified woman's body inside a dumpster in the Lakeside area of San Diego County late Thursday afternoon after investigating a tip in the disappearance of Orange County resident Quee "Q.C." Chadwick.

Chadwick's brother told Eyewitness News Thursday night that police told him they presume the body is that of Quee Chadwick.

Chadwick's husband is accused of killing her in their mansion. He pleaded not guilty on Monday. Police found evidence of a struggle at the couple's Newport Coast residence.

Peter Chadwick, 48, stood before a judge in a Santa Ana courtroom to face a felony count of special circumstance murder for financial gain in the death of his 46-year-old wife.

"It appears that the relationship had been on the rocks for a period of time," said prosecutor Matt Murphy.

According to the district attorney's office, the suspect killed his wife last week over a dispute about a possible divorce and related financial issues. Investigators say he claims that someone else killed his wife and forced him to hide the body.

Police began investigating when they got a call from a concerned neighbor who said two of the couple's children weren't picked up from their school bus stop. Investigators say when they searched the couple's multi-million-dollar home, they found blood.

"There's a lot of forensic evidence that we've recovered. There's also a series of witnesses that have been interviewed, and we're very confident that when the facts come out in court, it's going to be very clear," Murphy said.

The business executive was arrested in San Diego Thursday after he called police for some reason about four miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Authorities say he was driving his 2003 Lexus SUV. They hope witnesses come forward with information that can help them solve the case.

Friends and family came to court to show their support for the Chadwicks. One friend who did not want to give a name said they were a nice family who didn't appear to have any problems.

The two youngest children go to a private school in Huntington Beach called the Pegasus School. School officials said in a statement, "We're saddened by the events that occurred. We have grief counselors on campus. Our condolences go out to the Chadwick kids and family. Our attention is really focused internally."

Authorities say the couple's three children are being cared for by another family member.

If convicted, Peter Chadwick faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. He is being held without bail until a hearing on Oct. 26.

Anyone with any information regarding the ongoing investigation was urged to call Newport Beach Police Department at (800) 550-6273.


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