- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 25, 2002

Senior police officials say it is increasingly likely that the probe into Chandra Levy's death will be reclassified as a homicide investigation.
"It certainly has the earmarkings of that," Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer told The Washington Times.
About a dozen officers from the Mobile Crime Unit spent a third day searching the heavily wooded slope where Miss Levy's remains were discovered Wednesday. Chief Gainer said a platoon of recruits will search an expanded area today with the intention of recovering more of Miss Levy's remains.
One lane of Broad Branch Road, which has been used as a police staging area, will be opened to traffic today at 8 a.m., Chief Gainer said. Police will make a determination tomorrow night whether to open the second lane Monday.
He said the D.C. medical examiner is not likely to determine a cause or time of death until next week because some of the remains have not been recovered.
The remains were spread over an area about 20 to 25 yards wide and about 50 yards long, Chief Gainer said.
A law enforcement source told The Times that police found a gold ring engraved with the initials "C.L." in a shallow grave with some of the remains. Police also found a Walkman music player, a University of Southern California T-shirt, shorts, running tights, a red sports bra and running shoes.
Chief Gainer declined to comment on reports by WTTG-TV (Channel 5) that Miss Levy was bound, saying the source of that information acted in an "immoral and unethical" manner in releasing it.
Sources close to the investigation told The Times that evidence indicates that Miss Levy's body was dumped at the scene. The sources said it was physically impossible for her to fall halfway down the 100-foot hill that rises from Broad Branch Creek to the road above because of trees and bushes in the way.
The sources said it appears that Miss Levy was lured into the park by her attacker because she sought information about Klingle Mansion in Rock Creek Park the last time she used her computer.
Levy family attorney Billy Martin agreed. "It is our belief that she did not go there alone," he said. "Someone lured her."
He said it would be "out of character" for Miss Levy to hike or jog there alone. The two-lane road above where Miss Levy's remains were found has no shoulders or sidewalks.
The remains were found in thick underbrush far from a path on a steep hillside above the creek that runs along Broad Branch Road NW near Brandywine Street about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday by a man walking his dog.
Mr. Martin said he is in daily contact with the Levy family and they are "still in a lot of pain and suffering."
Chief Gainer said yesterday police have not conducted any additional interviews since Miss Levy's remains were discovered.
Police have not ruled out officers eventually again interviewing U.S. Rep. Gary A. Condit, a married California Democrat who was linked romantically to the 24-year-old former government intern, whose Modesto district he represents.
An attorney for Mr. Condit said yesterday he has not been contacted by D.C. police about an interview.
The attorney said he speaks regularly with Mr. Condit, who, he said, was "upset about the fact that her remains have been found and what the Levy family is going through."
Attorney Mark Geragos said police should have searched the area more thoroughly and "plotted out the course for a long run."
Police yesterday said the area of the park where Miss Levy's remains were found was not included in foot searches of the 1,700-acre park and they had concentrated their efforts in areas along paths and trails.
Mr. Condit first denied that he had an affair with Miss Levy, but during a third interview with police detectives, he acknowledged a romantic relationship. Detectives also interviewed his staff and his wife. He lost a Democratic primary in March for the congressional seat he has held since 1989.
Miss Levy, 24, was last seen April 30, 2001, as she was planning to return to her home in Modesto 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, 2001.
Jim Keary contributed to this report.


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