LAKESIDE, Calif. - An investigation was under way today into whether the body of woman found in a Dumpster in Lakeside was the missing wife of a Newport Beach real estate investor arrested on suspicion of killing her.
San Diego County sheriff's detectives were alerted about 3 p.m. Thursday to a body found off Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside.
Investigators were still at the scene late Thursday, but could not verify that the body found was that of 46-year-old Quee "K.C." Chadwick, a sheriff's spokesman said.
10News learned, however, that Chadwick's family has been told to assume that the body could be hers.
Her husband, Peter G. Chadwick, 48, was arrested last Thursday near the border in his Lexus sport utility vehicle and later charged with the murder of his wife.
Newport police were alerted Oct. 10 when the woman failed to pick up her three children from school that afternoon.
About 5:30 a.m. the next morning, Peter Chadwick called San Diego police as he drove along Interstate 905 and was later arrested.
Peter Chadwick was later charged with murder with a special circumstance allegation of killing for financial gain, which makes him eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted.
"What I can tell you is he definitely did it ... It's his motive that's still pretty unclear," Orange County Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy told City News Service.
The two were talking about getting a divorce, Newport Beach police said. Peter Chadwick, who was denied bail, is jailed in Orange County, pending an Oct. 26 pretrial hearing.
Murphy said investigators found blood and signs of a struggle in the Chadwicks' Newport Coast home.
Peter Chadwick has told police that his wife was killed by another man and that the real killer forced him to drive his wife's body near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Residents in the remote Lakeside neighborhood where the body was found reacted to the investigation.
"Wow, that gives me chills," said one resident. ""I guess now that I think about it, everybody's got a lot of land, so ... for someone to think they can come up here, yea, because ... it's all spread out."
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office will work to identity the body.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Newport Beach Police Department.