A disgraced former police chief in North Carolina was arrested in South Carolina after reportedly staging his own suicide.
36-year-old William Anthony Spivey resigned as the chief of the Chadbourn Police Department on April 6, 2021 following a misconduct investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations.
NBC affiliate WECT reported on his arrest, as well as events leading up to it.
On April 18, 2021, Spivey was arrested facing multiple charges, including evidence mishandling, drug trafficking and embezzling.
Spivey reportedly raided the Chadbourn Police Department’s evidence room where it is believed he stole narcotics, firearms and thousands of dollars in cash.
In June of 2021, Spivey was arrested again, this time charged with embezzling $8,000 from a family with a young son diagnosed with leukemia.
A third arrest came in January of this year, this time after Spivey attempted to steal catalytic converters from an auto repair shop,
In spite of the multiple arrests and over 73 offenses, WECT reported Spivey was able to post a $500,000 bond, allowing him to remain at home while awaiting trial.
Spivey was expected to appear in court on February 21, almost a year after the first charges were made.
However on the same day, Spivey was reported missing after leaving for a fishing trip in the Lumber River in Columbus County, North Carolina.
An abandoned boat was reported to the Columbus County Sheriff's Office resulting in both local and state agencies opening both an investigation and a water search.
It was eventually confirmed to North Carolina Wildlife Officers the abandoned boat belonged to Spivey who was also seen driving a truck in the area.
A press release from the Columbus County Sheriff's Office said several family members believed Spivey had taken his own life.
Handwritten letters and a .22 caliber rifle were also both found at the scene of the incident.
However, after further interviews and a review of multiple video surveillance systems, it became clear to the Columbus County Sheriff's Office the suicide was staged.
As a result, arrest warrants were issued for Spivey on February 23, where he was listed as "missing and wanted."
The Horry County Police Department in South Carolina later notified the Columbus County Sheriff's Office they had received a tip, eventually discovering Spivey had taken refuge with an aunt in Loris, South Carolina.
The Columbus County Sheriff's Office confirmed in their press release Spivey was found and arrested in the creek behind his aunt's apartment building.
"We want the citizens to know that no matter the situation, we must respond accordingly."
"In this case, a person was reported missing."
"It is our duty to do all we can to preserve life and locate the missing person. "
"We are thankful that we have the resources now to do so."
"Spivey was found alive and well. We consider that a job well done."
Spivey is currently being held at the Columbus County Detention Center and according to the jail records has no attorney representing him at this time.
With over 40 outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court, Spivey's total bond is reportedly close to one million dollars.
Spivey's Aunt, Brenda Rowele, told WECT she was unaware she was harboring a fugitive, but also firmly believes her nephew is innocent.
"I was told different stories, but I do know, and I will state to the fact and I do know, he is not no drug addict, like they say he is."
"Columbus County Cops is doing him wrong."
Viewers of WECT's report on YouTube were happy to see Spivey was apprehended.
"The Feds need to do a nation wide sweep of every local principality."
"Keeping a job and appearing to be an upright man is one thing, really having good character, accepting responsibility for your actions is a completely different level of manhood that most aren't willing to take up the challenge."
"Even my little nieces and nephews know how to tell when they've done something wrong. Why is it so hard for grown a** people to do the right thing or follow simple rules?"- SSGSS4 IAMMacabeeFU
"It took 80 felony charges to finally expose this man."- Jacob Perrigo
"What in tha? At this point the Police Department is hiring just about anybody…SMH"- Banzy
"Just one of those bad apples I keep hearing about, awful lot of bad apples."- Blue Thunder
"Coward. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."- Bobby Browder
"Wonder how many innocent people he put behind bars? Take your own medicine, son!"- Torgo and the Lucifer Cat
Multiple viewers felt this ongoing story seemed like just the sort of thing to inspire an episode of a procedural crime show, if not a TV movie.
"There's a TV Movie of the Week coming from this. Or a 'Law and Order' episode, lol."
"Oh, AHH the Blind Love of an aunt, mother of a Vile Criminal son/nephew. 'He's a Good Boy!' Or if you're a Southern Rural Caucasian, 'He's Just a Good Ole Boy!' Bwwwahaha.- Alpha Omega
"@Netflix get to work…want to be entertained."- fazmuz
According to the Columbus County Sheriff's Office, the investigation against Spivey is ongoing as he awaits trial.
They said further charges and arrests are "likely."