- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

Armed with shotguns, crowbars and flashlights, Metropolitan Police officers yesterday foraged through abandoned buildings in Northwest in their widening search for former intern Chandra Levy.
The search, which included cadaver-sniffing dogs, was focused on buildings in the 2nd and 3rd Police Districts, near Miss Levy's former residence in the 1200 block of 21st Street NW and Rep. Gary A. Condit's apartment in the 2600 block of Adams Mill Road NW.
Mr. Condit, whose relationship with the missing woman has come under close scrutiny by authorities and the media, yesterday provided a DNA sample to investigators, a law enforcement source told The Washington Times. The California Democrat provided the sample a day after police had collected DNA from blood specks in a search of his Adams Morgan apartment.
A detective used a swab to collect skin cells from the inside of Mr. Condit's mouth, the source said.
Yesterday, Mr. Condit's attorney, Abbe Lowell, continued to negotiate with police officials about the details in having his client undergo a lie-detector test in the investigation.
"We plan to do it soon, but we won't give out any schedule," said Officer Anthony O'Leary, a spokesman for D.C. police. "I'm sure they're still working out the details."
Detectives on both coasts are reinterviewing six women who claimed to have had affairs with Mr. Condit and are seeking other women who were romantically involved with the married congressman, law enforcement sources told The Times.
The women are being sought out and interviewed as part of a federal probe into whether Mr. Condit tampered with witnesses or suborned perjury in the Levy investigation, the law enforcement sources said. The Times first reported about the federal investigation Wednesday.
Investigators are trying to determine if Mr. Condit told the women to keep quiet about their romantic relationships and not to cooperate with authorities after Miss Levy disappeared — as a flight attendant already has claimed, the sources said.
Mr. Condit admitted to investigators on Friday that he had been romantically involved with Miss Levy after having denied an affair for weeks, according to law enforcement sources.
Detectives are trying to create a profile of Mr. Condit and his behavior with women, particularly whether his insistence on secrecy evolved into demands that they not talk to authorities, law enforcement sources told The Times.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that FBI agents have interviewed Otis Thomas, a Pentecostal minister and landscaper in Modesto, Calif., who claimed his daughter had an affair with Mr. Condit seven years ago when she was 18. Mr. Thomas was quoted as saying that Mr. Condit told his daughter, Jennifer, not to speak about the affair and that she is in hiding and afraid to talk to the FBI.
A handwritten note signed "Jennifer Thomas" and posted on the door of Mr. Thomas' home in Ceres, Calif., said: "I never met that congressman who's involved in all this. I don't even know how both me and my father got mixed up in this, we don't know anything."
Mr. Condit, 53, has not been charged with any crime, and police have said he is not a suspect in Miss Levy's disappearance, which is being investigated as a noncriminal, missing persons case. Miss Levy, 24, was last seen April 30.
Flight attendant Anne Marie Smith, who said last week Mr. Condit's representatives urged her to sign a false affidavit about their 10-month affair, spent a second day yesterday talking to FBI agents and prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District.
Her interview yesterday focused on information relevant to the federal probe and to Miss Levy's "critical missing persons" case, law enforcement sources said.
A spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington Field Office confirmed that Miss Smith and her attorney met with officials but declined to provide details.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined comment.
Miss Smith, 39, has said Mr. Condit's California attorney, Joseph Cotchett, and a private investigator pressured her to sign an affidavit denying "under penalty of perjury" her affair with the congressman.
She also said Mr. Condit angrily told her not to talk to FBI agents.
Mr. Condit in a written statement denied telling anyone not to cooperate with authorities. Mr. Cotchett's law firm issued a statement disputing Miss Smith's account, saying it e-mailed a "draft" statement to Jim Robinson, her attorney in Seattle, to clarify her relationship with the congressman following a tabloid magazine report about the matter.
Yesterday, Rep. Bob Barr became the first member of Congress to ask Mr. Condit to resign. "You can't have interns coming to Washington and have stuff going on. It's bad policy," the Georgia Republican told Cox News.
Meanwhile, rumors circulated yesterday that two of Mr. Condit's Capitol Hill staffers had resigned.
His offices in California and on Capitol Hill, as well as Mr. Lowell's office, referred calls to publicist Marina Ein, who did not return calls seeking comment.
A woman who would not identify herself at Mr. Condit's California office told The Times, "We're still all here. I haven't heard of anyone who resigned." Chief of Staff Mike Lynch would not speak to The Times, she said.
Mr. Condit's district includes Miss Levy's hometown of Modesto, Calif.
D.C. police, working on the premise that Miss Levy is still alive and in hiding, are planning to circulate computer-altered photographs of her with different hairstyles and hair colors. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said the new photographs could be available as early as today.
But police, who have ruled out suicide in the case, increasingly are considering that Miss Levy met with foul play and is dead, as their search of landfills last week and abandoned buildings this week with cadaver dogs has illustrated.have to explore the possibility that she may be dead and we're looking for the remains," Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer said on CBS-TV yesterday. "So we're looking at about one-seventh of the District of Columbia right now, at abandoned buildings."
Cmdr. Mark Beach of the 3rd Police District yesterday said his officers had checked most of the 80 abandoned buildings earlier and were checking again to see if anyone had entered the building or left anything inside.
"We have come to see if any of the structures have changed," Cmdr. Beach said. "There are a number of buildings we have previously searched. We are making sure that nothing has been added."
* Jerry Seper contributed to this report.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide