- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 28, 2002

As Chandra Levy's family holds a memorial service in Modesto, Calif., today, the D.C. medical examiner is expected to issue a ruling on the cause of death of the former missing intern six days after her remains were found in a secluded area of Rock Creek Park.
Senior police officials have said 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 last week.
Yesterday was no holiday for the officers from the Mobile Crime Unit as they continued searching the heavily wooded slope where Miss Levy's remains were discovered Wednesday. The investigation is expected to finish up later this week, perhaps as early as today if the weather holds up, Chief Gainer said.
"We are in the final sweep of the field of death," he said late last night.
An officer at the scene said yesterday's search was uneventful.
"Nothing much new today, just Mobile Crime combing over their footsteps," the officer said.
Police sources say they are 90 percent sure Miss Levy was tied up with her own clothing, her hands bound by her tights. The clothing recovered shows no signs of bullet holes, stab marks or other evidence of a wound.
In Modesto, flowers and condolences are arriving at the Levy family home. Both Robert and Susan Levy and their son remain in seclusion, mourning Miss Levy's death. A memorial service will be held at the Modesto Community Center today.
"Bob wants to come out and be the strong parent, the father figure, and it's hard right now," family friend George Arata said.
He said Miss Levy's death "crushed" her father, putting the physician through the same ordeal that he went through a year ago when she disappeared.
"But I keep seeing him getting stronger," Mr. Arata said.
Sources close to the investigation told The Times that evidence indicates that Miss Levy's body was dumped at the scene. The sources said that because of trees and bushes in the way, it would have been physically impossible for her to fall halfway down the 100-foot hill that rises from Broad Branch Creek to the road above.
The sources said it appears that Miss Levy was lured into the park by her attacker. The last time she used her computer, she had sought information about Klingle Mansion in Rock Creek Park.
If Miss Levy was bound, the case against Ingmar Guandique, one possible suspect, would be weaker.
Guandique, now serving time in North Carolina, pleaded guilty to assaulting two women in Rock Creek Park last summer. During neither of those attacks did he tie his victims.
"We're confident that Chandra did not walk over to that park, fall down that hill and die," Levy family attorney Billy Martin said.
Investigators at the scene did reopen Broad Branch Road to two-way traffic late yesterday afternoon.
While detectives continued their search for evidence, others involved in the case spent part of the long weekend debating aspects of the investigation including the District's and Rep. Gary Condit's involvement in the case on television and news talk shows.
Mark Geragos, Mr. Condit's attorney, told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" that "the discovery and where the remains were found tends to, I think exonerate Gary." Even though Mr. Condit, the married California Democrat, has admitted to police that he had an affair with Miss Levy, Mr. Geragos dismissed suggestions that Mr. Condit was involved with her disappearance as "wild theories and speculation."
Defending the District's efforts, Chief Gainer told CNN's "Crossfire" on Sunday night that detectives were likely extremely close to the remains last summer, but never reached the area where the body was found.
"This particular place is very hilly," he said. "There is thick foliage there, and it looks like now, in comparing where we found her to where we searched before, we might have been as much as 125 yards east of her at one point and 125 yards west of her at another point."
A man walking his dog found her remains about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday in thick underbrush far from a path on a steep hillside above the creek that runs along Broad Branch Road NW near Brandywine Street.
Police said last week the area of the park where Miss Levy's remains were found was not included in foot searches of the 1,700-acre park, as they had concentrated their efforts in areas along paths and trails.
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.
Guy Taylor contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.


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