Missing Intern's Parents Meet With Condit Couple
Friday, June 22, 2001
For seven weeks, Chandra Levy's parents have tried Jewish prayers, Baptist hymns and meditation to maintain hope that their missing daughter is alive and has not met with foul play.
But yesterday, tired of waiting for news from Washington and fearing the worst, they harnessed the power of a high-profile D.C. lawyer and a hired team of veteran homicide investigators to try to find their daughter -- or to learn what happened to her.
They also had a face-to-face meeting with a man they believe knew their daughter well during her time in Washington -- Rep. Gary A. Condit (D-Calif).
Susan and Robert Levy, along with their new attorney, Billy Martin, asked D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey to upgrade the missing persons investigation to a criminal matter, hoping that would lead investigators to pursue the case with more vigor.
Susan Levy stepped out of police headquarters yesterday afternoon and called the 20-minute meeting with Ramsey "productive," even though the chief told them that the disappearance of their 24-year-old daughter, a recent federal intern, is still a missing persons case.
The disappearance will be investigated in the same way regardless of how it is classified, Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer said.
"They are working very hard on this case, and we appreciate the cooperation of the police," said Susan Levy, who slowly read the 800-860-6552 hot line number that Martin's firm has set up for tips on Chandra Levy's whereabouts.
Meanwhile, the Levys put their plans to return to Modesto, Calif., on hold yesterday after Martin said an aide to Condit called the lawyer's office. It was not clear why the aide had called, but the Levys had said that they would like to meet with the congressman.
Mike Dayton, chief of staff in Condit's Washington office, said last night that the Levys and Condit had met somewhere in the District for a "private conversation" yesterday evening. Dayton could give no details about where the meeting took place or at whose urging and could not say whether lawyers were present
"They talked," Dayton said.
Condit, who represents the Levys' home town, has called Chandra Levy a good friend. His aides have denied a romantic relationship between the two, but the Levys have said they believe their daughter was having an affair with him.
Police also want to talk to Condit. They interviewed him at his Adams Morgan apartment about six weeks ago and requested a follow-up meeting -- which they call a routine procedure -- about 10 days ago.