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No forensic evidence links Guandique, Levy

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 4, 2010; B04

Scientific experts testified Wednesday at the Chandra Levy murder trial that there is no DNA or forensic evidence linking defendant Ingmar Guandique to the crime scene in Rock Creek Park where Levy's remains were found.

Five government experts testified that numerous tests and follow-up tests showed no evidence of Guandique's fingerprints, blood or semen on Levy's tights, panties, sports bra, University of Southern California T-shirt or any of the other items found in the park on May 22, 2002, a year after Levy disappeared.

But one forensic expert confirmed that there were two positive DNA matches found on Levy's belongings.

Amy Jeanguenat, an analyst with BODE Technology Group, the agency the government used to process the Levy evidence, confirmed that in 2008, one of her colleagues accidentally contaminated the bra. Jeanguenat's colleague left less than a dozen of her skin cells during handling.

Jeanguenat also confirmed that there was trace DNA from an "unknown male" found on the black tights. Jeanguenat said the DNA did not match that of either Guandique or Gary A. Condit, the former California congressman with whom Levy, 24, was having an affair when she disappeared May 1, 2001.

She said that the DNA was processed through the FBI database of its employees but that no match was found. In pretrial hearings, prosecutors have said they have not been able to identify the source of the male DNA.

Also Wednesday, the jury briefly heard about a stolen van found in the park. Under questioning by Maria Hawilo, one of Guandique's attorneys, a DNA expert testified that fingerprints found in the van did not match Guandique's.

When Hawilo tried to ask additional questions about the van, Assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Campoamor-Sanchez objected and Judge Gerald Fisher told Hawilo to move on to another subject.

Guandique's attorneys, who say prosecutors have charged the wrong man in Levy's slaying, have argued in pretrial hearings that they weren't convinced Levy was killed in the park, saying that her body may have instead been left there.

Guandique, 29, was charged last year with six counts, including first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual abuse, in connection with the death of the former government intern.

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