(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — A prominent California real estate investor is being held in connection with the disappearance of his wife, amid a widespread search for the mother of three who vanished from her home last week.
Peter Chadwick, 48, is awaiting an arraignment in a California courtroom later Monday, accused of killing his wife, 46-year-old Quee Chadwick, and possibly hiding her body.
“We are searching for Quee Chadwick. We do obviously based on our investigation believe that she has been the victim of a homicide and we are searching for her body,” Kathy Lowe with the Newport Beach police department said.
Last week, officers were called to the couple’s multi-million dollar home in an upscale Newport Beach gated community. On Wednesday, a neighbor had called police after seeing the couple’s children at a bus stop, waiting longer than usual for a ride. A second person reported hearing “screams” from the family’s home earlier in the week, according to the Daily Pilot.
“We responded to the home and discovered signs of a struggle and possible foul play,” Lowe said.
At that point, investigators launched a search for both Peter and Quee Chadwick.
The first break in the case came early Thursday morning, when San Diego police say Peter Chadwick called them. Officers soon located him 100 miles south of his Newport Beach mansion on a freeway near the California-Mexico border, near Tijuana.
Police are not explaining why they think Quee Chadwick was killed, or why they believe Peter Chadwick is responsible, but he was arrested immediately.
ABC News was unable to reach Chadwick, who is being held at Orange County jail on $1.5 million bail, for comment.
Police say they are continuing to search for clues that could help them find Quee Chadwick.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire