An Arizona man has pleaded guilty to killing his wife less than a week after she was reported missing.


FLAGSTAFF, Arizona – Less than a week after an Arizona man reported his wife missing, launching a massive search that quickly turned into a criminal investigation, he confessed to killing his wife and pleaded guilty to murder, authorities announced Friday.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in Coconino County, Daniel Paduchowski pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the killing of his 45-year-old wife, Kellie. He also pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence, concealing a body and possession of dangerous drugs, according to a copy of the plea agreement.

The agreement, reached Friday ahead of a press conference held by the Flagstaff Police Department this afternoon, is a surprising and quick resolution to a murder case that began just days ago and could have otherwise dragged on for years as it worked its way through the legal system.

At the news conference, Flagstaff Police Chief Sean Connolly emphasized that it had been only six days since Kelly Paduchowski was reported missing to authorities.

“I've been to the barber. I've been to the dry cleaners. I've been to restaurants and businesses, and it was on everybody's mind,” he said. “When communities are not indifferent, and they're engaged at this level, these are the results you get.”

Authorities did not provide any details about what may have led to the killing, nor did the plea agreement include any information indicating a possible motive.

Paduchowski's attorney did not immediately respond to emails and phone messages seeking comment.

Daniel Paduchowski, 58, is expected to be sentenced to 16 years in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder charge, said Michael Tunnink, senior counsel for the Coconino County Attorney's Office. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Paduchowski called Flagstaff police Sunday night to report that his wife never returned after going for a run and swim at Lake Mary, located southeast of Flagstaff, authorities said.

Police said they immediately suspected Daniel Paduchowski was involved in his wife's disappearance after the woman's relatives found her car on the other side of town.

By Monday morning, the missing person case had turned into a homicide investigation, police said. The Flagstaff Police Department announced the arrest of Daniel Paduchowski the next day.

As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Daniel Paduchowski provided authorities with information about his wife's remains and other evidence, including her cellphone, car keys and the weapon allegedly used to kill her, Tunink said.

Flagstaff police said they found the remains of Kelly Paduchowski Friday morning but did not disclose the location, citing active “recovery efforts.”

About 50 search and rescue members, along with local and federal agencies, searched on foot, by helicopter and mountain bike, as well as using sniffer dogs and drones, to look for Kelly Paduchowski, authorities said. About 60 people from the community also volunteered to help with the search, police said.

Flagstaff Police Chief Connolly said Friday that officers are in constant contact with the victim's relatives, including her children.

“Since I've sat in the living room with Kelly's family, I can't tell you how impressed I've been by their strength and their resolve to deal with this incredibly tragic situation,” he said.


Leave a Comment

“The Untold Story: Yung Miami’s Response to Jimmy Butler’s Advances During an NBA Playoff Game” “Unveiling the Secrets: 15 Astonishing Facts About the PGA Championship”