Former Chadbourn police chief Spivey arrested in South Carolina

CHADBOURN, N.C. (WECT) – Anthony Spivey, the former Chadbourn police chief who was the subject of a search along the Lumber River this week, was arrested in Horry County, South Carolina early Thursday morning.

According to Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene, Spivey was located at his aunt’s residence at an apartment complex on Watson Heritage Road in the Loris, S.C. Spivey ran from the complex but was taken into custody a short time later at approximately 12:45 a.m.

Spivey, who currently is being held at the J. Reuben Detention Center in Horry County, has 40 outstanding warrants for failure to appear for a total bond of $1 million.

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing and that additional charges and arrests are likely.

The CCSO says it was contacted on Monday by North Carolina Wildlife Officers about an abandoned boat located in the Lumber River near the Sandhills Hunting Club. Wildlife officers were told that Spivey was last seen driving a truck found at the location and that the boat belonged to him.

“Deputies arrived on the scene, along with Sheriff’s Office Investigators and Special Operations Units, including the Man Tracking and Dive Units,” the sheriff’s office stated in a news release. “As the Sheriff’s Office began to search the area, investigators spoke to Spivey’s friends and family who were at the scene. Investigators began collecting evidence. Family members described the incident as a possible suicide.”

Investigators collected handwritten letters at the scene, along with the boat, which contained a .22 caliber rifle with a discharged round still in it.

“Investigators quickly concluded that the evidence collected did not support a suicide scenario,” the news release states. “However, with Spivey still missing, dive crews searched waters, and tracking teams searched the wooded areas for Spivey. Search and rescue crews conducted searches for three days, including several agencies assisting with aerial coverage, K9 sniffing, and sonar scanning. Meanwhile, Criminal Investigators were conducting a separate investigation.”

“As investigators collected video from surveillance systems and conducted interviews, it became even more apparent that the scene on the river was staged.”

Warrants were issued for Spivey’s arrest Wednesday due to his failure to report to Superior Court, and he was reported as missing and wanted.

Previously, Spivey was arrested in April 2021 and charged with more than 70 offenses. The former chief is accused of repeatedly raiding the police department’s evidence room and stealing a variety of narcotics, thousands of dollars in cash, and firearms.

In June 2021, Spivey was charged with embezzling $8,000 meant for a family whose son was battling leukemia. According to the indictment, Spivey allegedly took money intended for the Buffkin family, who lost their son, Philip Tanner Buffkin, to his battle with leukemia in August of 2019.

Last month, Spivey was accused of stealing two catalytic converters from his employer.

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