Search Intensifies For Missing Intern
Thursday, May 17, 2001
District police with cadaver-sniffing dogs searched the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, a patch of woods in Northwest Washington and Chandra Levy's apartment yesterday, seeking signs of the intern, who has been missing for more than two weeks.
Police found no evidence in those searches, said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a D.C. police spokesman. "This was just to eliminate any possibilities," he said.
The case has become a nationally publicized investigation that reaches both coasts and involves several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and U.S. Rep. Gary A. Condit (D-Calif.), who represents Levy's home town of Modesto.
Condit, who called Levy "a great person and a good friend" in a statement this week, called D.C. police on May 7, a day after Levy's parents called his congressional office, said Michael Lynch, a spokesman for Condit's Modesto office. Condit spoke to police that week about aspects of the investigation including a reward fund, to which his campaign contributed $10,000; the FBI's involvement in the case; and what he could do to help, Lynch said.
Lynch said he had been fielding calls from reporters all day about any relationship between Condit and Levy, 24.
A romance "totally did not occur," he said, adding that he had asked Condit about the possibility. "It's really distressing that a lot of people are focusing on that issue when the focus should be on finding where Chandra is."
Meanwhile, Levy's parents met with D.C. police and officials from the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI for 3 1/2 hours yesterday. Police and the family gave few new details about what may have led to her disappearance.
"We just want her back," said her father, Robert Levy. "We want her back alive."
Levy's relatives and acquaintances shed some light on her life in Washington. In talking with her parents, police learned more about Levy's "social habits," such as which D.C. clubs she visited, said Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer. Jennifer Baker, a friend of Levy's from California, said Levy mentioned in late November that she was dating an FBI agent.
Levy hasn't been seen since April 30, when she canceled her membership at the Washington Sports Club several blocks from her apartment in the 1200 block of 21st Street NW, as she prepared to move back to California, D.C. police said.
She had interned in Washington at the Federal Bureau of Prisons and was completing her graduate work in public administration. She was to return to Modesto ON May 9 before attending her graduate school commencement ceremony last Friday at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, police said.
Levy's mother said that she last spoke to her daughter on April 27 or 28 and that she received an e-mail from her on May 1 about airline prices. She said she was not sure exactly when her daughter sent the message.