Three Sheriff's Office Investigators were recognized Friday morning for their efforts in a homicide case that spanned seven years. Representatives from the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General commended Investigators Jamie Koontz, Greg Locke and Bobbie Ochsman for their pursuit of the homicide of an elderly male, whose identity had eluded law enforcement since his body had been stuffed into a steamer trunk and dumped in western Loudoun in 1996.
After early attempts to identify the body fell short it was ultimately their persistence that led to successfully identifying the victim, Jack Watkins, through military records.
The subsequent investigation revealed the diversion of Social Security payments from the deceased totaling approximately $89,728 and retirement annuity payments belonging to Watkins totaling approximately $10,078. A joint investigation was launched between federal agents, including the Social Security Administration, the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspectors and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.
In August of 2003 a female acquaintance of the victim was arrested and charged with bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, and theft from a government program.
The suspect, Nancy Jean Siegel, 55, was indicted in January of this year with the murder of Watkins.
Watkins' body was discovered on May 14, 1996 dumped near the trash at an access point to the Appalachian Trail by a Loudoun County Sheriff's Deputy on routine patrol.
The victim's body had been stuffed into two duffel bags and then into a large storage trunk before being discarded between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on May 13, 1996.
An autopsy revealed that Watkins had died of cervical compression, with corresponding abrasions and subcutaneous hemorrhages on the neck consistent with manual strangulation. The autopsy also revealed that there were a number of fresh cuts and abrasions on the body, as well as a blunt force injury to the back of the victim's head, which occurred sometime prior to his death. Further, toxicology analysis revealed that Watkins had toxic levels of medication with sedative effect in his system when killed.
According to the superseding indictment it is alleged that from about 1982 to 2003, Siegel repeatedly used the identity and personal financial information of husbands, friends and acquaintances, including Watkins, in order to open or convert financial accounts for her own use.
The indictment also alleges Siegel used the identity of Jack Watkins, who was 76 years old at the time of his murder, to obtain credit based upon false and fraudulent information. She is also accused of inducing Watkins to finance and sell his home to pay her credit account debts and/or give her the money, all before his death.
Siegel also is alleged to have used his identity and financial
information to open new financial accounts and divert and use existing accounts. The indictment alleges that Siegel engaged in this scheme for almost seven years, much of it while Watkins' was dead and his body unidentified.
The initial indictment in this case charged Siegel with nine counts of theft of government property and two counts each of bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud and identity theft.
In addition to the murder of Watkins, the indictment charges her with seven counts of theft of government property, seven counts of bank fraud, two counts each of identity theft, wire fraud and mail fraud, and two counts of witness tampering for the murder of Watkins. Siegel is currently being detained in federal custody.