Transcript: Joint Investigation in the Northern Virginia Area

Hello. My name is Adrienne Messer. For the past five years, I’ve been a special agent with the Office of the Inspector General’s Philadelphia Field Division, assigned to the Washington, D.C. office.  Today, I would like to tell you about an investigation that was conducted by our office in conjunction with several other law enforcement agencies in the northern Virginia area.

In the fall of 2008, while working on a missing person’s case, a lieutenant with the Louisa County Sherriff’s office developed information that this person, identified as Reginald Bowles, has been in current pay status and was receiving Social Security benefits through his representative payee, Ulisa Chavers. When interviewed, Ulisa Chavers confirmed that she was in fact, the representative payee for Reginald Bowles and that he had left the area sometime prior to 2008. According to Chavers, Reginald was on a road trip with a motorcycle gang touring Montana. Subsequent investigation revealed a number of inconsistencies in Ulisa Chavers’ explanations. Eventually, probable cause was developed to obtain a search warrant for the Bowles’ residence and surrounding area in Mineral, VA. During the execution of this search warrant, a cadaver dog reacted to a well located on the property. Further investigation revealed a body of a male wrapped in a sleeping bag and covered with a tarp being recovered from the well. These remains were later identified as those of Reginald Bowles. Ulisa Chavers was arrested and charged in Louisa County circuit court with concealment of a dead body; identify theft, credit card fraud and possession of a sawed off shotgun.

As this investigation continued, investigators interviewed Teresa Sullivan, the daughter of Ulisa and Clint Chavers. According to Ms. Sullivan, she remembered that back in 1994, her mother had told her to stay home from a friend’s house for a few days. She added that upon her return, the family residence, her mother informed her that during her absence, her father, Clint Chavers had died, was cremated and then his ashes had been mailed to his hometown in Louisiana. A systems search revealed that Clint Chavers had received Social Security Disability benefits for 20 years at a P.O. Box in Amelia, Virginia.

On April 9, 2009, while being transported to a motions hearing, Ulisa Chavers advised Louisa County Deputies, that after his death, she buried Clint Chavers in the backyard of the Amelia, Virginia rental property, where they resided in 1994. The following day, the Amelia County Sheriff’s Department, special agents form the Social Security Office of the Inspector General, and the Virginia State police, searched the previous Amelia Virginia rental property of Clint and Ulisa Chavers. The same cadaver dog alerted investigators to the rear back corner of that house. They discovered skeletal remains found buried beneath two feet of soil, wrapped in a bed sheet, and minus a skull. The remains were later identified by the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office as Clint Chavers.

The Deputy Commonwealth Attorney, Rusty McGuire, requested the help of Dr. Douglas Owsley, a prominent anthropologist with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Dr. Owsley and his team found that when Ulisa severed Clint’s head, she left a few small bone fragments in his shallow grave. Dr. Owsley determined those bones were broken approximately at the time of Clint’s death, which contradicts Ulisa’s statements that Clint had died of natural causes. The report also states the damage to the skull resulted from serve trauma to the head. In December 2010 and January 2011, Louisa County and Amelia County circuit court judges, sentenced 62 year old Ulisa Chavers to a total of 85 years of incarceration. Ulisa will serve at least 43 years for her two guilty plea agreements of first degree murder for both Clint Chavers and Reginald Bowles, two counts of defilement of a dead body, nine counts of grand larceny of Clint’s SSA benefits, ten counts of embezzlement of Bowles’ SSA benefits, credit card fraud, identity theft, and possession of a sawed off shotgun.

The impact of this case created an uproar throughout the community. The findings were broadcasted on local, state, and national news. While blogs addressed the facts surrounding a woman, nicked-named, “The Black Widow”, who took the lives of two men who were receiving Social Security benefits.