- Posted August 26, 2014 by
Former PA Charged in 2011 Death
A cold case, spanning more than three years, took a different turn today after a mother's repeated pleas to homicide detectives to take another look at her daughter's case. Rhonda Desha McClain, age 41, was reportedly found unresponsive in a bathtub at the home of her (then) boyfriend, Rafael Ubaldo Chavez. Chavez, a former physician's assistant in Apple Valley, California, claimed Ms. McClain's death was accidental, but the victim's mother refused to accept his version of what took place. Based on information she was able to gather, the mother finally convinced detectives to take another look. Adding to her suspicions was a text she found on her daughter's phone stating that she was planning to leave Chavez on March 11th, a mere four days later.
Based on additional information that the mother was able to obtain, a complaint was filed against Chavez with the California medical board. Ironically, the hearing ended on March 7, 2014, the three year anniversary of Ms. McClain's death. After facing ten separate charges, Chavez's medical license was revoked.
Chavez is being held in the Adelanto Detention Center on a one million dollar bond. If convicted of first degree murder, he could be facing 25 years to life in prison.
In addition to her mother and four siblings, Ms. McClain is survived by two daughter's, ages 22 and 6 at the time of her death, and two grandchildren. A third grandchild was born in 2013.