Smithsonian used to analyze evidence in Ulisa Chavers case

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Investigators reached out to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. in efforts to bring new charges against a Louisa County woman.

61-year-old Ulisa Chavers is facing 22 felony indictments including embezzlement, grand larceny and two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of her second husband and ex-boyfriend.

In both the Louisa and Amelia cases, investigators say forensic evidence led to the new charges against Chavers-- evidence that was analyzed by experts at the Smithsonian Institute.

Authorities in the Chavers case enlisted the help of forensic anthropologists from the Smithsonian Institute to take a look at evidence from the murders of her second husband, Clent Chavers, and ex-boyfriend, Reginal Bowles.

Bowles' body was pulled from a well in Mineral last March more than two years after he disappeared. The following month, Chavers body was dug up in Amelia, 15 years after she says he died.

"The Chavers case was helped identified by the Smithsonian, and the Bowles case done by our medical examiner's office down in Richmond," said Louisa Sheriff's Lieutenant Howard Porter.

The Smithsonian's forensic division helps solve criminal cases by reading clues from skeletal remains. Louisa authorities would not comment further about its findings or how Chavers and Bowles died.

"We got a positive response from them," said Lt. Porter.

Investigators say Chavers collected the men's social security checks between 1994 and 2009.

"Total amount is a little over $131,000 that she had gotten from the social security administration," said Lt. Porter.

Last February, Chavers was sentenced to five years for dumping Bowles' body, credit card fraud, identity theft and possessing a sawed off rifle. Investigators say they knew there was more to the case and wouldn't give up.

"I don't think we were willing to settle," said Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney, Tom Garrett.

Chavers will be arraigned on the Louisa charges on August 16. When asked about whether any federal charges would be filed, prosecutors said not at this time.

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