Chandra Levy: Five Things to Know About the Murdered D.C. Intern
Levy, who had an affair with a married California politician, vanished while jogging in May 2001
In 2002, Chandra Levy’s skeletal remains were found near a trail in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, marking the first break in a case that has stymied investigators for over a decade.
This week, prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges against Ingmar Guandique, the man who had been facing a retrial after being convicted in 2010 of murdering the former federal government intern, who vanished while jogging in the spring of 2001.
Although much about her death remains a mystery, interviews with investigators, forensics experts and people close to the Levy family have helped answer some important questions surrounding the case.
This week development means investigators are back to square one. Thus far, they’ve remained mum about what’s next.
Here are five things to know about Chandra Levy and the case of her murder.
1. Ingmar Guandique cleared because of ‘unforeseen developments,’ say prosecutors
On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office made the unexpected announcement that charges against Guandique would soon be dropped.
According to a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the prosecution said it filed its motion to dismiss because it could “no longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The decision to drop the charges against Guandique comes less than a year after his conviction was overturned.
Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant, will be released to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where he faces possible deportation.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
2. Levy had an affair with married California Rep. Gary Condit
The publicity surrounding the Levy case was largely a result of her ties to former Rep. Gary Condit, a Democrat from California. Coverage of Levy’s death fell off months later, when the media’s attention turned to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In an early interview with police, Condit, who was 53 in 2001, reportedly admitted having an affair with the 24-year-old, but the married man has never acknowledged the romance publicly.
Once the affair was revealed, the police and the media focused heavily on his involvement with Levy.
“All of a sudden, Gary Condit became the only one they would consider,” a source close to the investigation told PEOPLE at the time. “We became fixated on him.”
After being voted out of Congress in 2003 (after 10 years in office), Condit went into the ice cream business, operating several Baskin-Robbins ice-cream parlors with his wife, Carolyn, son Chad and daughter Cadee – and dividing his time between homes in California and Arizona.
Condit has been ruled out as a suspect.
3. Condit has strongly denied any involvement in Levy’s death
While he refused to sit for a police-issued polygraph test, Condit has long denied he had anything to do with Levy’s murder and insisted the two had parted on good terms.
Condit didn’t admit to police that he and Levy were having an affair until his third interview with them. He has spoken of having an appointment with a chiropractor that evening but hasn’t publicly disclosed the name of his doctor.
A grand jury considered obstruction of justice charges against Condit for allegedly pressuring another mistress to deny any romantic involvement with him, but no indictment was brought.
4. Lawyers for Guandique were poised to argue Condit likes ‘aggressive sex’
In May, Guandique’s lawyers filed paperwork with the court ahead of his impending retrial indicating their defense would focus on Condit and his sexual preferences.
In motions filed with the court, the defense alleges Condit had a “powerful” and “obvious” motive to kill Levy.
The defense’s motion sought interviews with three women who allegedly had sexual relationships with Condit, and mentioned knotted tights were found near Levy’s remains in 2012.
The motion posited that the tights were used to restrain Levy, and said that two of the women the defense would depose would testify Condit had an interest in bondage and “aggressive sex.”
5. Levy helped reporters who were covering Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh
During her final semester of her masters degree program at the University of California, Levy moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a paid intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
That internship began in October of 2000, when she was selected to work at the bureau’s headquarters in its division of public affairs.
That meant Levy was heavily involved in assisting the media in the months leading up to the execution of Timothy McVeigh, who convicted of bombing the Oklahoma City Federal Building.
Levy’s internship was terminated a month before her disappearance when it was learned her academic eligibility had expired. She was set to return to California in May 2001 for graduation.