Robert George Arcieri was taken into custody in Palm Springs, on Wednesday. He'd been living under a phony name, in a golf community.
Police say Arcieri faked his own death in 1987 to avoid arrest for severely beating an Arizona woman.
"He and some other individuals feigned that he had fallen in the river and presumably had drowned," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson from Phoenix police. "In fact, it is my understanding that an extensive search of the Colorado River was made, and of course it didn't turn up Mr. Arcieri's body."
Arcieri voluntarily agreed to return to Phoenix. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, plus burglary, theft and drug possession.