Newport Beach police still searching for exec's wife feared dead
A neighbor said she heard the wife of a Newport Beach man scream before she disappeared. Investigators found signs of a violent struggle at the couple's upscale home.
Peter Gregory Chadwick, 48, was taken into custody Thursday in San Diego County at the Mexican border. Detectives are now retracing his movements since he left the home Wednesday and his 46-year-old wife, Quee "Q.C." Chadwick, vanished.
Yulianna Nikulina, who lives next door, said she was home the day of the suspected slaying and didn't hear anything. But earlier in the week, she said, either on Monday or Tuesday, she heard Quee Chadwick scream about 6:30 or 7 a.m.
She said she thought it was an expression of momentary frustration by Quee Chadwick, possibly from getting the children ready for school. Normally the family is quiet and polite, and she never hears fighting or yelling from the home.
Peter Chadwick was "always nice, nothing wrong, nothing special," she said. "I can only tell you good things about this couple."
Nikulina said she and other neighbors had already been questioned by police.
Police went to the Chadwicks' $2.5-million home on Almanzora on Wednesday evening in the exclusive Newport Coast development after a neighbor alerted authorities that no one had come to pick up the couple's children from school, said Newport police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe. The children are 8, 10 and 14 years old.
When officers entered the five-bedroom, European-style home, they discovered "evidence of a struggle and possible foul play," she said.
Concerned that the struggle might have been fatal, police immediately launched a search for the Chadwicks.
Their whereabouts remained a mystery until 5:30 a.m. Thursday when Peter Chadwick called San Diego police asking for "assistance," police said.
He was behind the wheel of his 2004 Lexus SUV when taken into custody. Police would not say what Chadwick told them, but their investigation suggested that Quee Chadwick had been the victim of a homicide. The husband is being held in lieu of $1.5-million bail on suspicion of murder, Lowe said.
— Richard Winton and Lauren Williams
Photo: Peter Chadwick and his wife, Quee, and their three children. Credit: KTLA-TV