Fifteen years on, mystery still surrounds Chandra Levy’s death
NEW YORK: In the weeks and months before the September 11, 2001 attacks, the disappearance of Washington intern Chandra Levy was the biggest story in the US. Speculation swirled about her relationship with a congressman, Gary Condit.
Nearly 25 million people tuned in for Condit’s awkward prime-time interview with Connie Chung in August.
Then came the September 11 attacks and Condit and Levy were largely forgotten. She popped back into the news in 2002, when her remains were found in Washington’s Rock Creek Park. And again in 2010, when an immigrant from El Salvador named Ingmar Guandique, was convicted of Levy’s slaying and sentenced to 60 years.
More than 15 years after her disappearance, Levy is back in the news and her death is again a mystery.
Prosecutors announced this week they were dropping all charges against Guandique, who was given a new trial last year after doubts were raised about a key witness at his 2010 trial.
Guandique’s lawyers in the public defender’s office issued a statement saying their client had been vindicated and noting Guandique had passed an FBI-administered lie detector test. They accused prosecutors of hiding information.
The disappearance of the 24-year-old Levy created a national sensation after the intern for the Bureau of Prisons was publicly linked with Condit. The California Democrat was at one point a prime suspect in the investigation, police acknowledged.
Eventually, police cleared Condit and in 2009 charged Guandique, who had already been convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacks on female joggers in Rock Creek Park.
In a statement, Condit’s attorney said the former congressman was disappointed the case had been dropped. “The failure to bring formal closure after 15 years is very disappointing,” they said.– ANA-AP