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Chandra Levy’s parents: Arrest is near
Question of the Day
The parents of slain federal intern Chandra Levy say D.C. police told them Friday afternoon that an arrest is imminent in the eight-year-old investigation into their daughter's killing.
Robert Levy, Chandra's father, said D.C. police contacted him Friday afternoon and told him an arrest was imminent. He said they did not name a suspect, give him a timeline for an arrest, or discuss what evidence they had, although he said police were confident they had enough evidence to move forward with the case.
"I talked to [Chandra's mother] Sue and she was excited — not really happy, but we just want to get a solution, some justice," he told The Washington Times Saturday morning from his home in Modesto, Calif. Metropolitan Police officials and the U.S. Attorney's Office had no comment on the report Saturday morning.
"This case generated numerous bits of information, which we continue to follow up on," Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Saturday in a statement.
WRC-TV reported that D.C. police are seeking an arrest warrant for Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant serving a 10-year sentence in a federal prison in California for attacking two female joggers in separate assaults in 2001 near Broad Branch Road, which is where Miss Levys remains were found on May 22, 2002. Both women fought back and escaped without serious injury.
Police have long suspected Guandique — who was arrested July 1, 2001, the same day of the second attack he was convicted for — was involved in Miss Levy's disappearance.
D.C. police questioned Guandique, 27, about Miss Levys disappearance before her remains were discovered and administered a polygraph test after a fellow inmate said Guandique had confessed to the killings while in prison.
Guandique passed his test, while the inmate who provided the information failed a similar polygraph test.
Police officials at the time speculated that the inmate who said Guandique had confessed may have provided secondhand information and failed the polygraph test when asked whether he had heard the confession directly.
Police were also concerned that the polygraph test may have been unreliable because the FBI administered it through an interpreter. Then-Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey dismissed that concern, saying he was satisfied with the use of the FBI-qualified interpreter. He said the same interpreter was used during the polygraphs of Guandique and the other inmate.
"Now that we found the body and you look at the MOs of the two attacks that didnt result in death and hers looking for similarities, we need to go back and ask this guy this set of questions that are really specific now to what we know about what probably happened at that crime. But hes not cooperating," Chief Ramsey said at the time.
Miss Levy disappeared from her third-floor apartment on 21st Street NW on April 30, 2001, after canceling her membership at the Washington Sport and Health Club. Internet records indicate she used her computer May 1, visiting travel Web sites and looking up the address to the Klingle Mansion in Rock Creek Park.
Her remains and some articles of clothing were found May 22, 2002, by a man walking his dog in the Rock Creek Park woods, not far from the mansion.
Then-D.C. Medical Examiner Dr. Jonathan Arden concluded Miss Levy was murdered, but he could not conclusively state the cause of death. He later said that damage to a bone in Miss Levys neck may indicate she was strangled.
The case garnered national attention after reports surfaced that Miss Levy was having an affair with Rep. Gary A. Condit, California Democrat.
Early on, Mr. Condit suggested that his relationship with Miss Levy was only friendship and denied even to his colleagues that it was romantic.
The congressman later acknowledged to police that he had an affair with Miss Levy but denied any involvement in her disappearance. Mr. Condit lost a re-election bid in 2002.
Guandique's former residence in the 1400 block of Somerset Place NW is about a mile from where Miss Levy's remains were found.
Guandique pleaded guilty in February 2002 to two counts of assault with intent to commit robbery for the assaults of two women in the park within a month of Miss Levys disappearance. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Both women were assaulted near Broad Branch Road, which is where Miss Levys remains were found.
During his trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina L. Ament said Guandique used the park as a "hunting ground" and that he was "selecting victims and stalking them." The attorney noted that Guandique used isolated locations to attack and dragged his victims off the trail into a ravine.
The first attack was May 15, 2001, about 6:30 p.m. as Halle R. Shilling, 30, was jogging at the Pierce Mill Road parking lot. She was running north on Beach Drive when she saw Guandique sitting on the curb on the west side of the Broad Branch parking lot.
He began running after her, then caught her. He pulled a knife on her after grabbing her around the neck. She screamed, pushed his face with her hand and fled.
Christy C. Wiegand was similarly assaulted by Guandique on July 1, 2001, at about 7:30 p.m., court records showed. She was jogging on Beach Drive when she saw Guandique standing beside the trail. He began to run after her and grabbed her from behind. He then pulled her off the trail.
He took out a knife as he held Miss Wiegand, a 26-year-old lawyer originally from Pittsburgh, by the chin and covered her mouth because she was screaming. She freed herself when she felt him lose his grip.
Court records show that both women were wearing Walkman portable radios, which Guandique did not take. A Walkman was found near Miss Levys remains.
About the Author
Matthew Cella is The Washington Times’ Metro editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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