- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday that he is confident that his detectives will find who killed Chandra Levy even though the D.C. medical examiner could not determine how she died.
"We will eventually come up with the person who is responsible," Chief Ramsey told reporters in front of police headquarters. "Whether it's a day from now or 10 years from now, it doesn't matter to us."
The chief's comments came about two hours after the chief medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan L. Arden, announced that he was unable to determine the cause of the former intern's death from the condition of her remains. He said he had concluded that it was a homicide based on the nature of her disappearance and the location of her remains.
"There was no specific evidence of an injury that could conclusively have caused her death," Dr. Arden said at a news conference outside his office. "The circumstances of discovery in fact are the prime factors in arriving at the conclusion of the manner of death being a homicide."
Dr. Arden and Chief Ramsey said the condition of the remains was "consistent" with the time frame since Miss Levy's disappearance. Both officials declined to comment on reports that Miss Levy may have been bound and that knotted articles of her clothing were found near her remains.
Miss Levy's remains were discovered last Wednesday morning under a foot of underbrush in Rock Creek Park. She had been missing since last May.
Dr. Arden said police had recovered the "majority" of Miss Levy's remains, which he described only as "skeletonized." He said he had not ruled out any particular cause of death but said, "We may never know the specific cause."
Chief Ramsey said investigators met yesterday to "map out the next steps" in the investigation. The chief said it is too soon to determine how many investigators will be assigned to the case and declined to say whether police have identified a suspect now that the case, which had been a "death investigation" before the medical examiner's ruling, has been reclassified a homicide.
"Right now, we have a lot of people that we want to interview or perhaps even reinterview," Chief Ramsey said. "At this stage of the investigation, it's premature to start labeling people as suspects."
Chief Ramsey would not rule out an interview with Rep. Gary A. Condit, the married California Democrat romantically linked to Miss Levy. "We'll speak to anyone we feel we need to speak to to further this investigation anyone at all," he said.
Mr. Condit at first denied that he had had an affair with Miss Levy, but during his third interview with police detectives, he acknowledged a romantic relationship. Detectives also interviewed his staff and his wife.
Congress was not in session yesterday, and Mr. Condit could not be reached for comment. He lost a primary in March for the congressional seat he has held since 1989.
Responding to statements by Condit attorney Mark Geragos that the discovery and location of the remains should "exonerate" his client, Chief Ramsey said he had never accused Mr. Condit of anything. "I believe that's why we have courts to determine that," he said.
In Miss Levy's hometown of Modesto, Calif., yesterday, more than 1,000 people attended a memorial service. Her parents, Robert and Susan Levy, did not speak at the service, but Levy family lawyer Billy Martin told reporters after the service that they were "heartbroken again" at the news last week that their daughter's remains had been found.
Dr. Arden said he has spoken with Mr. Martin about releasing Miss Levy's remains. Chief Ramsey said her clothing and personal items will be given to the FBI for testing.
Thomas Mauriello, professor of criminal and forensic science at the University of Maryland, said that although the condition of the remains makes it difficult to discount any cause of death, there is likely more evidence that makes Dr. Arden confident the manner of death was a homicide.
"The reality is there is some information we don't know," Mr. Mauriello said. "Based on what [Dr. Arden] said, they don't have a cause of death. If they have any information about whether it's a homicide, that's a different story."
A man walking his dog found the remains about 9:20 a.m. last Wednesday in thick underbrush far from a path. The site was near a steep hillside above the creek that runs along Broad Branch Road NW near Brandywine Street.
Along with the remains, police found a Walkman, a University of Southern California sweatshirt, shorts, running tights, a red sports bra and running shoes.
The Washington Times reported that sources close to the investigation said police had a ring with the initials C.L. found at the scene.
Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer yesterday disputed that account, saying police did not discover any rings, bracelets or keys at the scene. "That is just not true," he said. "We didn't find it."
Police said last week that the area 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.
When police searched her apartment last May, they found that her bags were packed and that her personal items, except her keys, were present.


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