COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (TCD) -- A disgraced former police chief facing 70 felony charges was found and arrested after leading officials to believe he drowned himself.
William Spivey was reported missing Feb. 21 to the Columbus County Sheriff's Office when he reportedly did not come back from a fishing trip. Officials reportedly found Spivey's boat in the Lumber River as well as his vehicle parked at the boat landing. A dive team searched the river, and other efforts were carried out via helicopter and on the ground.
According to an update from the Columbus County Sheriff's Office, family members "described the incident as a possible suicide." The Sheriff's Office reportedly collected handwritten letters as well as a .22 caliber rifle in the boat, but investigators "quickly concluded that the evidence collected did not support a suicide scenario."
As the search continued, Columbus County Sheriff's Office investigators reportedly determined the evidence was "staged." A warrant was issued for his arrest on Feb. 23. A tip sent investigators to an apartment complex in South Carolina. Spivey was reportedly there and fled as officials arrived. He was, however, apprehended in the woods nearby.
In April 2021, Spivey was arrested by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation on 73 charges, including 31 counts of altering, stealing, or destroying evidence, 31 counts of embezzlement by a public official, four counts of trafficking opiates by possession, and more.
WECT-TV reports Spivey, the former Chadbourn Police Chief, is also accused of stealing money that was reportedly meant for a family whose child died from leukemia. He reportedly has more than 40 warrants for failing to appear for his court dates.