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Source: Others under scrutiny in Levy case

Condit chose not to take part in July Fourth events in his California district.  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congressman Gary Condit is not the only friend of missing former intern Chandra Levy to have come under police scrutiny in the investigation of her disappearance, a law enforcement source knowledgeable about the case said Wednesday

As to whether the investigation was now more focused on Condit, the source said Condit was just one of several people who might have had contact with Levy in the days just before she disappeared.

"Other people have gone through the same scrutiny, some even more than him," the source said.

As examples, he described friends from the health club Levy frequented and other acquaintances. The news media, he said, are the ones who have focused so much on Condit recently.

Mired in controversy, Congressman Gary Condit skipped a fourth of July parade in his hometown. CNN's Rusty Dornin reports (July 4)

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The congressman canceled appearances Wednesday at Independence Day parades in his California district, including one in Levy's hometown of Modesto during which her friends distributed ribbons and flyers. Organizers said an aide to Condit told them he did not want his presence to be a distraction at the festivities.

Condit's romantic life has been the subject of much speculation because of the disappearance of Levy, a 24-year-old woman who was last reported seen at a Washington gym April 30, although police have since discovered she evidently sent an e-mail message from her laptop computer in her apartment on May 1.

Condit, a 53-year-old married father of two, has acknowledged a friendship with Levy, but speaking through his aides he has denied any implied romantic involvement with the missing woman.

Police are treating the Levy case as a missing person's investigation, and Condit, a Democrat, has never been named as a suspect in the matter.

The source said District of Columbia police detectives and the FBI are interested in knowing if there are "other women" who may have had romantic relationships with Condit.

"We are not searching for them," the source said. But if any women come forward, "We want to hear how they feel he treated them to see if we get any feeling about whether Chandra Levy would have harmed herself."

The source would not say whether Washington police have identified other women, but earlier this week flight attendant Anne Marie Smith went public with her story that she had an affair with Condit and that the congressman asked her to lie about it.

The source would not specify whether any women besides Smith have been interviewed. He did, however, dispute a report in Wednesday's Washington Times that "five" women, in addition to Smith, had come forward to tell investigators they too had affairs with Condit.

While he would not specify any number -- or even confirm or deny whether there were any women claiming affairs besides Smith -- he did say "five is way too high."

Without mentioning Smith by name, Condit in a statement Tuesday said, "I have repeatedly urged anyone who has any information that can help police find Chandra Levy to come forward, tell all they know, and be as forthcoming as possible.

"I have not asked anyone to refrain from discussing this matter with authorities nor have I suggested anyone mislead the authorities."

--Correspondents Bob Franken and Rusty Dornin contributed to this report.

• Rep. Gary Condit
• Washington D.C. police

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