- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 23, 2002

About 9:30 yesterday morning, a man and his dog stumbled upon human remains in sprawling Rock Creek Park, and within minutes speculation began: Were they the remains of missing Washington intern Chandra Levy? Police investigators and pathologists, who later found other remains and bits of female clothing, began working feverishly to answer that question. The results of other forensic tests could take days. One revealing piece of forensics evidence was, of course, Miss Levy's dental records. Shortly before 6 p.m., D.C. police confirmed that the remains were indeed those of the missing intern.

Miss Levy's parents are "upset" and "distraught," said Metropolitan Police Chief Chuck Ramsey, who made a point of telling the media that, because of this, he had to be careful about his choice of words. But, frankly, whose parents would not have been after seeing neither hide nor hair of their child in more than a year?

To be sure, no D.C. missing-persons case in recent history had drawn the attention of the case of Chandra Levy, who had a secret relationship with a congressman and vanished the morning of May 1, 2001, after reportedly searching on the Internet for information about Klingle Mansion in Rock Creek Park.

On several occasions last year, police and police cadets scoured the 1,755-acre park and other places frequented by Miss Levy, but never found solid evidence linked directly to her disappearance. "We searched all [1,755] acres of Rock Creek Park," the chief said yesterday, "but you can be standing next to something and still not see it." The remains found yesterday were situated on a steep incline in thick woods on the western edge of the park, a site about one mile from the Klingle Mansion and about four miles from Miss Levy's Dupont Circle apartment.

A lot has transpired since Miss Levy's disappearance. While her parents have pleaded constantly for anyone including her suspected lover, former Rep. Gary Condit to come forward with information, Miss Levy, who interned for the Bureau of Engraving, turned 25, a grand jury began mulling information, and Mr. Condit, a Democrat, received a not-so-unexpected rejection for another term from his constituents.

For his part, the married Mr. Condit never publicly admitted amorous affections toward Miss Levy. Also, it took weeks for him to gather the wherewithal to be interviewed by investigators. By the third or fourth round of questioning, Mr. Condit did indeed admit the affair. Police, meanwhile, repeatedly made a point of telling the media that neither Mr. Condit nor anyone else, for that matter, is a suspect.

To be sure, thousands of women turn up missing every year in the United States, and police said early yesterday that those remains might belong to any of them. The announcement later in the afternoon, however, changed Miss Levy's status from "missing" to "deceased."


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