- The Washington Times - Friday, June 7, 2002

Police investigators reopened the crime scene in Rock Creek Park after a human bone was found yesterday near where the remains of Chandra Levy were found two weeks ago.

The bone and some wire were found by detectives hired by the Levy family.

A bone, thought to be a part of Miss Levy's left leg, and wire were found about 25 yards from where the bulk of Miss Levy's remains were discovered May 22, D.C. police Cmdr. Christopher LoJacono said at a news conference called last night to announce the discovery.

Cmdr. LoJacono, with the Forensics Science Division of the department, said the bone had "substantial animal activity" on it.

The bone and wire, which Cmdr. LoJacono described as one typically used to constrain trees in a wooded area, were found near a fallen tree in a region of the park that detectives had searched previously.

"It is unacceptable that these items were not located" in previous police canvassing of the area, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said.

The remains were found on a steep embankment just off Broad Branch Road near Brandywine Street NW.

Cmdr. LoJacono said it would be difficult to determine why this bone was missed during the extensive search after the remains were found on the morning of May 22 by a man walking his dog. Investigators, including technicians and cadaver dogs "thoroughly searched" a five-acre region inside the park, he said.

"It would be hard to theorize [why the bone may have been missed during the initial search,] an animal could have taken it, secreted it in its den and brought it back," he said.

Cmdr. LoJacono said investigators planned to continue their work throughout last night and in coming days. He did not offer a timetable for when the crime scene would be closed.

When investigators closed the crime scene last month, several of Miss Levy's bones were missing, including the majority of the left leg. Cmdr. LoJacono said yesterday's finding was thought to a part of the leg, but that final determination would have to be made by the medical examiner.

Chief Ramsey said he has ordered a thorough review to determine why the bone and twisted wire were not found in previous searches.

Miss Levy, 24, was last seen April 30, 2001, as she was planning to return to her Modesto, Calif., home after working as an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She was scheduled to receive her diploma from the University of Southern California on May 9.

Police said leads in the case slowed to a trickle after the September 11 attacks. The case drew worldwide attention last summer when it was disclosed that Miss Levy had been having an affair with Rep. Gary A. Condit, California Democrat.

Mr. Condit first denied he had an affair with Miss Levy, but during the third interview with police detectives, he acknowledged a romantic relationship. Detectives also interviewed his staff and his wife.

"The discovery our investigators made today in Rock Creek Park is very disturbing," Levy family attorney Billy Martin said in a statement last night. "While we are extremely proud of the job done by our investigators, we are overwhelming disappointed by the failure of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department to find this very important piece of evidence.

"Our disappointment should not be misconstrued as blame. We are focused solely on bringing the individual(s) responsible for Chandra Levy's death to justice."

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