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Levy Family Still Hoping For Answers

By Petula Dvorak and Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, May 1, 2005; Page A07

Susan Levy is about to get back some of her daughter's belongings from police, small tokens from the young woman's life. But what she really wants are answers to a puzzle that police have yet to solve: Who killed Chandra Levy?

"In my case, every time there is someone missing, or a murder, I remember. I relive the trauma. It doesn't go away," she said during a telephone interview from her home in Modesto, Calif.

Federal intern Chandra Levy vanished four years ago today.

Four years ago today, federal intern Chandra Levy visited several Web sites, including those for Rock Creek Park, Baskin Robbins ice cream and Amtrak. Dressed in workout clothes, she then left her Northwest Washington apartment for the last time.

The 24-year-old's skeletal remains were found in Rock Creek Park by a man searching for turtles on May 22, 2002. Her leggings were knotted at the bottom of both ends, pointing to a possible sexual assault.

The mystery attracted international attention amid revelations that Levy was having an affair with her hometown congressman, Gary A. Condit (D-Calif.), who authorities say is not a suspect. Condit, who later lost a bid for reelection, has said he knows nothing about Levy's disappearance or death. He divides his time between California and Arizona, where he owns several ice cream parlors.

There have been few public signs of activity by FBI and police investigators assigned to the Levy case. It is classified as a "cold case" by D.C. police, but authorities said their investigation is ongoing. They are continuing to look at sexual offenders and other possible suspects, according to law enforcement sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Condit's former bodyguard, Vince Flammini, who was interviewed by FBI investigators in the past year, said: "They showed me a picture of a guy I'd never seen before and asked me if I've ever seen this guy around Gary [Condit]. I couldn't help them. I didn't know the guy."

Steve Mandell, an attorney representing the Levy family, said relatives are planning to launch a Web site in about a month to create a depository for new tips in the case.

Mandell met recently with an FBI agent and an assistant U.S. attorney to discuss the case and retrieve some of Levy's possessions that had sentimental value to the family but were no longer needed in the investigation. He plans to return them to the family when he meets with the Levys this month.

"The case continues to be pursued," Mandell said. "I do feel that we're going to keep at it until it is resolved."

Condit and his wife, Carolyn, have settled three libel lawsuits filed against news organizations that they claimed defamed them while pursuing the story. The settlements came from suits against the National Enquirer and other supermarket tabloids and Vanity Fair columnist Dominick Dunne. The terms have not been disclosed.

Condit's attorney, L. Lin Wood, said the settlements provided Condit with "some sense of vindication." Wood said the former congressman will be cleared for good in the public's eye once the killer is captured.

An arrest is what Susan Levy hopes for every day. "I will never give up hope," she said.

Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.

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