Remains of missing intern Levy found in Washington park

Thursday, May 23, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The remains of Chandra Levy were found in a Washington park Wednesday, ending an agonizing 13-month search for the federal intern whose disappearance riveted the nation and cost a congressman his career.

Police said they still had no idea how Levy died.

A man walking his dog and looking for turtles in Rock Creek Park found a skull and other bones, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said. The medical examiner used dental records to confirm the remains were Levy's.

The 1,754-acre park had been scoured by police before, to no avail.

Levy's parents, Dr. Robert and Susan Levy, who throughout the ordeal expressed hope their daughter was still alive, did not immediately comment. Family friend Donna Raley said the Levys "held out so much hope, and they've been so strong. It's just devastating to them."

Levy's baffling disappearance had gripped the nation for months -- until last Sept. 11 -- and led to the political demise of her hometown congressman, Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif.

Condit denied having anything to do with the disappearance but he acknowledged to investigators that he had an affair with her, a police source said. Condit lost the Democratic primary in his district.

He said Wednesday in a statement issued by his attorney: "Congressman Gary Condit and his family want to express their heartfelt sorrow and condolences to the Levy family. The Levy family will remain in our prayers."

Mark Geragos, Condit's lawyer, also criticized Washington police. "This is not a red-letter day for the D.C. police," Geragos said. "Gary had nothing to do with Chandra's disappearance."

In a late-afternoon news conference, Police Chief Ramsey said simply, "The remains found earlier today are in fact Chandra Levy."

The identification did not end the mystery. Ramsey said the medical examiner was working to determine the manner and cause of Levy's death.

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