A Newport Coast man accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in an unknown location pleaded not guilty Monday in Orange County Superior Court, authorities said.
Peter Gregory Chadwick, 48, faces one felony charge of murder for financial gain for allegedly killing his wife after a dispute about the couple possibly divorcing and related financial issues, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
The fight reportedly happened the morning of Oct. 10, and a neighbor noticed something was amiss when no one picked up the couple's children from school that afternoon, prosecutors said.
When Newport Beach police went to the home they found blood and signs of a struggle, according to the D.A.'s office.
Sources familiar with the case said investigators found blood in one of the home's bathrooms when they arrived at the house.
A neighbor told the Daily Pilot she heard a scream coming from the normally quiet home.
Police arrested Chadwick after he contacted police near the Mexican border, according to prosecutors.
Chadwick, a native of Great Britain, told police a man killed his wife and forced him to load her body into a vehicle, forcing him to drive near the border, the sources said.
Quee Chadwick's body has not been found. Newport Beach police scoured areas Peter Chadwick traveled between Wednesday and Thursday morning, police said.
Newport Beach police asked for the public's help Monday morning, releasing a photo of a similar vehicle matching Chadwick's 2003 champagne-colored Lexus SUV.
If convicted, Chadwick faces a minimum sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Newport Beach Police Department at (800) 550-6273.
—Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.