Litchfield Park man arrested in connection with wife’s murder in 2015


A Litchfield Park man was arrested and charged for allegedly murdering his wife in 2015, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives with MCSO’s Major Crimes Division charged Elias O. Udechime, 53, on Sept. 5 after an arrest warrant was issued for second degree murder.

MCSO’s Fugitive Apprehension and Tactical Enforcement Unit (FATE) located and arrested him without incident.

On the morning of Sept. 24, 2015, deputies responded a call by Mr. Udechime, who claimed to have found his wife, Chinonye A. Udechime, not breathing and cold to the touch in bed. He told investigators she had taken medication the night before and had made suicidal statements to him in the past, according to release.

Investigators questioned Mr. Udechime that day and learned the couple had been involved in a domestic violence fight in February 2015. Mr. Udechime had been arrested for domestic violence assault.

Ms. Udechime’s body was taken to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

In June 2016, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner William T. Stano III, M.D., ruled Ms. Udechime’s death as a homicide. She was 37 at the time.

“This is what hard work, persistence, and collaboration can deliver,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a statement. “Working with our partners at the Medical Examiner and County Attorney’s Office, we were able to arrest a person who believed he’d gotten away with murder. Justice will be served, even if it takes time to make the case.”

Mr. Udechime is in jail on a $500,000 bond.

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