Medical Examiner Says Levy Was Murdered - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Medical Examiner Says Levy Was Murdered

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Chandra Levy was murdered, but how she was killed can't be determined, the Washington, D.C., medical examiner said Tuesday in a disclosure that deepened the mystery behind the 24-year-old intern (pictured, right) who disappeared more than a year ago.

"In this case there was not sufficient evidence to ascertain conclusively the specific injury that caused her death," Dr. Jonathan L. Arden told a news conference. "However, the circumstances of her disappearance and her body on recovery are indicative that she died through the acts of another person, which is the definition of a homicidal manner of death."

Arden spoke to reporters about a young Washington intern whose disappearance cost Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., his job and gripped the nation for the better part of last summer. Her remains were discovered last week in a secluded area of Rock Creek Park, a sprawling urban greenspace in the heart of the nation's capital.

Law enforcement sources had said previously that Levy's knotted leggings were found near the remains, raising speculation she had been bound before being killed.

Arden declined to comment but said nothing about the manner of death has been ruled in or out.

"There's less to work with here than I would like," Arden said. "It's possible we will never know specifically how she died."

He said he could not determine whether Levy died where her skeletonized remains were found, or if she had been brought there after her death.

Three thousand miles away, in California, Levy's parents were holding a memorial service in her hometown of Modesto. Arden said he had been in touch with a lawyer representing her family to inform them of his findings.

Arden said new evidence could prompt him to re-examine the case, but at this point, "There's nothing else that can be done."

That wasn't true for the police, who have struggled with the case since Levy disappeared May 1, 2001. Rather than a missing person, they now have a murder case.

Police are investigating how Levy's body came to be on a steep incline a couple hundred yards from the nearest road and about four miles from her apartment.

Levy was not known as a jogger, police have said. They have not been able to explain why she might have been in the park.

Levy worked in Washington as an intern for the Bureau of Prisons. She disappeared shortly before she was to return to California. The case drew national attention because she was romantically linked to Condit.

Condit admitted to an affair with Levy during the third of four interviews with police, a source has said. He has denied any role in her disappearance and police have repeatedly said he is not a suspect.

Even so, the fallout from publicity surrounding the case cost him his seat in Congress. He lost a primary to a Democratic rival in March.

Deputy police chief Terrance W. Gainer said Saturday that police have no key suspect in Levy's death. Police have said they may want to talk again to Condit and Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant serving a 10-year prison sentence for assaulting two women in the park last year. The first attack occurred two weeks after Levy vanished.

A man walking his dog found a human skull on a steep incline in the park early last Wednesday. Searchers also found items of clothing, including a sweat shirt, jogging bra, tennis shoes and the leggings. By the end of the day, Arden ended one mystery by telling police that the skull was Levy's.

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

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