Ex-NC police chief arrested in SC after disappearance

February 25, 2022 GMT

CHADBOURN, N.C. (AP) — A former North Carolina police chief who resigned amid a misconduct investigation was arrested Thursday in South Carolina after authorities said he failed to appear in court, and a couple accused of helping stage his suicide is also facing charges.

Former Chadbourn Police Chief William Anthony Spivey was reported missing Monday after failing to return from a fishing trip, according to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.

Dean Sasser said Spivey asked to borrow his truck and never returned, but he and his wife, Debbie, found the truck at the edge of the Lumber River and Spivey’s boat downstream, news outlets report. Investigators found handwritten letters and a .22-caliber rifle with a discharged round in it.

But the sheriff’s office said it became apparent to investigators “that the scene on the river was staged.” Warrants for Spivey’s arrest were issued Wednesday due to his failure to report to court, the sheriff’s office said.

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Spivey was found Thursday at his aunt’s apartment in Loris, South Carolina, and captured after a chase, news outlets report. He’s jailed on a $1 million bond.

The Sassers, who are accused of helping Spivey with his staged suicide, were arrested Thursday and charged with obstructing justice, the sheriff’s office said.