Former Police Chief Who Faked His Own Death Is Arrested On 70 Felony Counts

Photo: Columbus County Sheriff's Office

A white former police chief who was charged with 70 felony counts is behind bars after being accused of faking his own death.

Authorities confirmed that William Anthony Spivey, 36, the former police chief of the Chadbourn Police Department in North Carolina, was located and arrested in South Carolina after he staged a suicide and fled the state.

Spivey was relieved from duty last spring after an internal investigation uncovered misconduct including drug trafficking, embezzling funds, and mishandling evidence, a statement by the Horry County Police Department obtained by NBC News said.

Spivey was reported missing on February 21, nearly a year after the charges, after taking a fishing trip to the Lumber River in North Carolina. Local officials were alerted to an abandoned boat which led to an extensive water search by multiple agencies.

Officials learned that Spivey owned the boat and said his family "described the incident as a possible suicide," according to a news release. They found a note and a gun with a single discharged round still inside. But investigators said the evidence didn't point to a "suicide scenario."

A warrant was issued for Spivey's arrest and, after receiving a tip to his whereabouts in South Carolina, authorities arrested Spivey at an apartment complex three days after staging his death.

He's currently being held on a $1 million bond due to his more than 40 outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court, each of which amounted to $25,000 each.

Officials said Spivey will likely face more charges and that an investigation is still open.

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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