The remains of former Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy are found on this day in 2002, over a year after the 24-year-old was last seen at a health club. The bone remains, discovered by a man walking through Washington D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, were identified through dental records. A sweatshirt, sneakers and a Sony Walkman cassette player were also found in the vicinity.
Levy, a native of Modesto, California, had been working in Washington as part of her Master’s degree program at the University of Southern California, though her academic eligibility to work at the Prisons Bureau had expired shortly before her death and she had been scheduled to return to California for her school graduation. Levy’s parents reported Chandra missing on May 1, 2001. What might have been a routine missing-persons investigation became the subject of intense national media coverage when it was discovered that Levy had had an affair with then-U.S. Representative Gary Condit (D-CA), a married 53-year-old grandfather whose congressional district included Levy’s hometown of Modesto. Although police did not name Condit as a suspect, suspicion was rampant, among the Levy family and the popular media, that Condit was withholding information from investigators.
Over the year-long investigation into Levy’s disappearance, police utilized phone-record and internet-usage searches, used bloodhounds to follow Levy’s scent and conducted hundreds of interviews, but few leads materialized. After finding evidence of an internet search performed on her computer for Rock Creek Park’s Klingle Mansion, police searched the park, but found nothing.
An autopsy was performed on Levy’s remains and police pronounced her death a homicide on May 29, 2002. In subsequent weeks, police questioned Ingmar Guandique, who was then serving prison time for assaults on two women in Rock Creek Park, but did not press charges against him. The investigation was reopened in 2006, and in November 2010 Guandique was convicted of murdering Levy and sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Gary Condit lost his Congressional re-election bid, failing to win the primary election in March 2002, a defeat widely attributed to his association with the disappearance of Chandra Levy.