- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Police say it is too early to determine whether their search of Rep. Gary Condit's apartment today will help solve the disappearance of a former Washington intern who has been missing for 10 weeks.
Police Chief Charles Ramsey refused to discuss what the search produced but said his department is interested in expediting a lie-detector test for Mr. Condit, D-Calif. "We think it's in everyone's best interest that that take place to put this to rest so that we can once again focus on finding Chandra Levy," Mr. Ramsey said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Mr. Condit and his lawyer are weighing whether to agree to such a test.
Ms. Levy, 24, a constituent who MR. Condit has described as a good friend, was last seen April 30. A source familiar with the case said Condit, who is 53 and married, acknowledged to police last week that he had a romantic affair with Levy.
Mr. Ramsey, interviewed on CBS' "The Early Show," said his officers were looking for "anything to connect Chandra Levy to that apartment, anything that would help us find her" when they searched the congressman's apartment in the capital's Adams Morgan neighborhood.
Mr. Ramsey's top deputy, Terrance Gainer, was more explicit when questioned before the search began late yesterday. "What you're looking for could involve blood, hair, telltale signs of a struggle," Mr. Gainer said. Mr. Ramsey told CBS: "We've never just focused on one person. It's very unfortunate with all this attention that seems to have come down on one person, but we've always had our attention spent on just trying to locate Chandra Levy and that's interviewing a variety of people, following a variety of leads, and a majority of those leads, quite frankly, have nothing to do with Congressman Condit."
Ms. Levy's father, Dr. Robert Levy of Modesto, Calif., criticized police for waiting so long to search Mr. Condit's apartment. "If that's what they want to do now … 10 weeks ago would have been a good time," he said.
Ramsey rejected that criticism.
"Mr. Levy's upset and obviously he's frustrated," Mr. Ramsey said. "But we do have the Constitution, we do have guidelines we have to work within. There was no probable cause to conduct a search any earlier. … You just can't enter a person's apartment and begin searching."
The search was conducted without a warrant because Mr. Condit had volunteered to allow it. "It's far too early" to say whether any of the bags and boxes of evidence carted from the apartment will make a difference in the case, Ramsey said.
As for the polygraph test, Mr. Ramsey said police want a wide-ranging test. "Otherwise it is useless," he said.
However, Mr. Condit's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, indicated in an ABC interview yesterday that he might insist on a far more limited test.
Meantime, investigators were planning to re-question flight attendant Anne Marie Smith today, according to a law enforcement source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. Ms. Smith claims Condit tried to get her to sign a statement denying a yearlong affair she says they had.
Mr. Condit has not commented on any relationship with Ms. Smith, but in a statement last week said he never asked anyone to lie.
The disappearance of Ms. Levy is being treated by police as a missing-person case. Police have said repeatedly that Mr. Condit is not a suspect.
Mr. Condit was in the apartment throughout the search, which lasted more than three hours.
The congressman, who has said little publicly about the case, said nothing to reporters yesterday as he went into a meeting of conservative Democrats at the Capitol. Later, he cast votes on the House floor and chatted with colleagues.
Ms. Levy was last seen April 30 when she canceled her membership at a Washington health club. Her internship with the federal Bureau of Prisons had just ended, and she was planning to return home to participate in graduation ceremonies at the University of Southern California.
Police searched her apartment and found nothing missing but her keys. Her bags were partially packed.
Last week, Ms. Levy's aunt said her niece told her she was having an affair with Mr. Condit and would often visit him at his apartment.
Mr. Condit hasn't spoken publicly about his relationship with Ms. Levy, but his office has denied an affair.
Investigators last week interviewed Mr. Condit's wife, Carolyn. She stayed at Mr. Condit's Washington apartment from April 28 to May 3. Gainer said Mrs. Condit also is not a suspect in Levy's disappearance.
On Monday, Ms. Levy's mother asked Mr. Condit to submit to a lie detector. Mr. Lowell responded that the reliability of lie detector tests is suspect, but that he would consider a request for such a test if it came from police.

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