Ingmar Guandique, the man previously charged with the 2001 slaying of federal intern Chandra Levy, was released from D.C. jail Saturday and placed in the custody of immigration officials after prosecutors dismissed charges against him in the 15-year-old case.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday that Guandique was in the agency’s custody and that he is awaiting a hearing in immigration court.
Guandique was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador at the time he was charged in Levy’s death.
In 2002, Levy’s skeletal remains were found in Rock Creek Park in Washington. Guandique was found to be a suspect in Levy’s killing due to the fact that he had admitted attacking two women in the same park around the time of Levy’s disappearance.
“Due to his previous criminal convictions, he is considered a threat to public safety, and ICE intends to maintain him in custody,” agency spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell said in a statement.
Levy was a 24-year-old intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons when she disappeared May 1, 2001.
The intern’s disappearance and killing captured national attention when it was revealed that she had had an affair with then-Rep. Gary A. Condit (D-Calif.), who was married and 30 years her senior. Police initially focused on Condit as a suspect but later cleared him.
In 2010, during a trial, Guandique was found guilty of killing Levy after a star witness in the trial, Guandique’s cellmate, Armando Morales, told authorities that Guandique admitted to him that he had killed Levy.
But last year, Guandique was granted a new trial after attorneys discovered that Morales was not truthful in his testimony.
Last week, prosecutors dropped their new case against Guandique after they discovered additional evidence that Morales may have told additional lies during his testimony, which would have further damaged his credibility if the case had gone to trial.