Police Chief Says Condit May Be Questioned Again In Death Of Chandra Levy

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - As forensic experts work to determine how Chandra Levy died, Police Chief Charles Ramsey said Thursday that investigators may again question Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif.

Ramsey, making the rounds of the morning talk shows, said now that Levy's remains have been found police will seek to talk to more people who may have information about her movements prior to her disappearance on May 1, 2001.

Condit, who already has been interviewed four times, may again be sought for questioning, Ramsey said.

"Perhaps we'll need to talk again. I don't know. Those decisions have not been made," he said on NBC's "Today."

Condit has acknowledged an affair with Levy, a police source says, but denies any involvement in her disappearance. Police repeatedly have said he is not a suspect.

The remains of Levy, 24, of Modesto, Calif., were found Wednesday morning in Rock Creek Park, a sprawling area in northwest Washington where Levy (pictured, above) often jogged. Police say her skull and other bones were recovered, as were a jogging bra, tennis shoes and other clothing.

Investigators resumed their search of the area Thursday, painstakingly sifting through dirt and leaves looking for hairs, clothing fibers and other evidence that could help determine when and how Levy died.

Terrance W. Gainer, Washington's deputy police chief, would not say whether any evidence of foul play had been found. However, he said it's reasonable to assume she was killed based on all the evidence gathered to date.

After months of hope that their daughter still might be alive, Levy's parents were left to cope with the tragic news: The long search for the intern had ended with confirmation of her death.

"Two parents have just received the most horrifying news that any parent could ever get," family spokeswoman Judy Smith said Wednesday outside Dr. Robert and Susan Levy's home. "Certainly no parent ever thinks that they would bury their child."

The Levys grieved in private with their son, Adam, and a few friends who arrived to console them in their one-story brick ranch house. Sheriff's deputies provided security.

Only a short distance from the front door, scores of reporters lined the sidewalk of the shady cul-de-sac. Ribbons that lined neighborhood trees and lamp posts a year ago were tattered and faded.

Neighbor Joanne Tittle's eyes were red and puffy from crying.

"My gut instinct was hopeful," she said. "I hoped she was in a foreign country or something."

Meanwhile, the man whose political career was ruined by his connection to Levy issued a statement through his attorney: "Congressman Gary Condit and his family want to express their heartfelt sorrow and condolences to the Levy family. The Levy family will remain in our prayers."

Condit, highly popular before Levy's disappearance, lost the Democratic primary in his district and is in his final months as a congressman.

Levy disappeared sometime after logging off her computer on May 1, 2001. When police searched her apartment they found her wallet, credit card, computer and cell phone. Only her keys were missing.

As national interest increased, police searched intensively.

They considered a variety of theories -- murder, suicide, even the possibility that Levy had gone into hiding or lost her memory.

Then, on Wednesday, a man walking his dog found her remains about four miles from Levy's apartment. Dental records confirmed they were Levy's.

Dr. Jonathan Arden, the Washington medical examiner, said he had received all the bones discovered in the park, but declined to describe their condition or say how long it might take to determine when and how Levy died.

Mark Geragos, Condit's lawyer, said Levy's death seems to parallel the cases of two other missing girls in Washington and supports Condit's belief that a serial killer may be responsible.

"It's certainly not a red-letter day for the D.C police," the lawyer said. "If, as reported, she left with only her tennis shoes and her keys, and was going jogging, wouldn't you look on the jogging trails? How do you miss somebody? It's mind-boggling."

Ramsey said the remains were found in a very secluded, densely wooded area well off jogging and bike trails.

Levy came to Washington for an internship with the Bureau of Prisons. In late April 2001, her internship was abruptly cut short when supervisors learned she was ineligible to continue because she had finished her college coursework the previous December.

Within weeks of her arrival in Washington, Levy and a friend visited Condit's office, where they had their photo snapped with the congressman. He also took them to the House gallery to watch a vote. Within months, Levy told family members she was having an affair with Condit.

After her disappearance, police searched Condit's apartment with his consent and obtained a DNA sample from him. Condit submitted to a lie detector test arranged by his lawyer, who said the congressman was found to be truthful when denying any knowledge about what happened to Levy.

A grand jury has been reviewing Levy's disappearance and whether Condit or his aides obstructed the investigation. The grand jury subpoenaed documents from Condit last year.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)