Chandra Levy

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Chandra Levy

Chandra Ann Levy (April 14, 19772001) was an intern who worked at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C., and is notable for disappearing after having an affair with U.S. Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.).

Levy was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in Modesto, California. She attended San Francisco State University earning a degree in journalism. After interning for the California Bureau of Secondary Education and working in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, she began attending the University of Southern California to earn a Master's degree Public Administration. As part of her studies, she moved to Washington, D.C., to become an intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She had finished her master's degree shortly before her disappearance and was scheduled to return to California for graduation.

On May 1, 2001, police said she had disappeared and controversy surrounding her disappearance was a main topic of American news headlines for the months prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The resulting publicity contributed to Condit's failure to win re-election to his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Levy's parents, Robert and Susan Levy of Modesto, held numerous vigils and news conferences in an attempt to "bring Chandra home."

Condit, a married man who represented the congressional district where the Levy family resided, at first denied that he had had an affair, but he later recanted this denial. Even though police repeatedly stated that Condit was not a suspect, many in the popular media—along with Levy's family and much of the American public—suspected that Condit was still hiding important information about the intern's disappearance. This suspicion was deepened when Condit tried to avoid answering direct questions during a televised interview with news anchor Connie Chung on Aug. 23, 2001. Condit later appeared before the District of Columbia grand jury investigating the disappearance.

District of Columbia Police Chief Charles Ramsey announced on May 22, 2002, that remains that matched Levy's dental records were found by a man who was walking his dog and looking for turtles in Rock Creek Park near Levy's apartment in northwest Washington, D.C., Police had previously searched well over half the area of the 2,000 acre (8 km²) park, which Levy had visited on many occasions, after determining that someone had used Levy's laptop computer to search for the park's Klingle Mansion on the day police believed she had gone missing.

Police stated that they had not searched this particular area before due to its remoteness. Her remains were found a mile (1.6 km) north of the mansion and about four miles (6 km) away from Levy's apartment. After a preliminary autopsy was performed District of Columbia police announced that there was sufficient evidence to begin a homicide investigation. Then on May 28, the District of Columbia medical examiner officially declared that Levy's death was the result of homicide.

Police interviewed Ingmar Guandeque, a Salvadorean national incarcerated for assaulting two women in the park. Both women were carrying portable radios, as was Levy. It is theorized that Guandeque is a serial killer who targeted women wearing portable radios because they were less likely to hear him approach, but as he was apprehended before killing more victims, this is not known. He has not been officially named as a suspect for Levy's murder. As of April 2005, the Levy homicide is listed as a "cold case" on the DC police website, and the FBI says that their investigation remains open.

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