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Police enter Condit's Washington apartment



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Washington police entered U.S. Rep. Gary Condit's apartment late Tuesday, and lab evidence technicians arrived shortly thereafter.

Police have reiterated that the California congressman is not a suspect in the disappearance of 24-year-old intern Chandra Levy, but Police Chief Charles Ramsey has said he is willing to accept Condit's offer to let police search his apartment, and ask him to sit for a lie detector test.

Washington police would not confirm that a search was taking place, though a spokeswoman for the Levy family in California said the family was aware that a search had begun.

Ramsey hinted that Condit has not been as cooperative in the investigation as his attorney, Abbe Lowell, has maintained, and reiterated that police were only accepting an offer of cooperation voiced by Lowell, to include a search, a DNA test, and discussion of Condit taking a polygraph.

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"We want to take him up on that offer, so we are working with Mr. Condit's attorney in order to arrange dates, times, locations and so forth in order to make that a reality," Ramsey said. "I think it's time that once and for all, we find out where we are with that case."

Police officers entering Condit's apartment through the back door at about 11:30 p.m. EDT.

Police: No crime yet

Law enforcement sources say Condit -- a 53-year-old, married father of two -- admitted to police in an interview Friday that he had a sexual relationship with Levy. Her family has urged Condit to take a lie-detector test to help determine what happened to their daughter.

Levy was last seen April 30 at her Washington gym. Ramsey said the request to search the apartment and seek the testing does not mean that Condit is a suspect in her disappearance, but hoped they would bring some "finality" to some aspects of the case.

Condit
Condit  

"We don't have a crime that we know of yet, so we're not talking about a suspect in any case," Ramsey said. "However, an offer has been made, and it would be irresponsible on our part not to take advantage of it."

Levy family lawyer Billy Martin said Tuesday the Levys want investigators to ask Condit about their daughter's state of mind in the days before she disappeared.

"If he was having an intimate relationship with her at the end of April, beginning of May, he of all people would know her state of mind," Martin said. "We know that she was upbeat from telephone messages she left and we would like the congressman to tell us not just when and where he met with her, but what they talked about and what was her mood."

Polygraph results are rarely admissible in court. Ramsey said he understands that the machines have their limits, "But it is a good investigative tool and one we won't hesitate to use."

Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer said even though 11 weeks have passed since Levy disappeared, "You can still find some evidence" through an exhaustive search of an apartment. He said authorities will go in "open-minded" and "look for what may strike their fancy."

He said the DNA sample police hope to get from Condit -- probably from the congressman's saliva -- would be analyzed by the FBI and compared with other evidence. "It might not play a specific role until further in the investigation," he said.

Father: Truth 'hard to expect'

Condit is one of roughly 100 people police have interviewed in connection with the case. Others include friends, colleagues and members of the gym where she was last seen.

Levy had completed an internship with the federal Bureau of Prisons and was preparing to return to California when she vanished. Police are treating her disappearance as a missing persons case and have named no suspects.

photo
The missing intern  

Levy's father, Robert Levy, said Tuesday that he wants "the truth" from Condit, but added that it is "hard to expect." Levy said he doubted much would come from a search of Condit's apartment more than two months after his daughter disappeared.

"If that's what they want to do now, but, you know, 10 weeks ago would have been a good time, I think, like I told the police that time," he said.

In an interview Monday night on CNN's "Larry King Live," Martin said a lie detector test is necessary because Condit's credibility has been damaged.

"Getting information from Congressman Condit is like pulling teeth. It comes out only when he's forced to admit these facts," said Martin. "The family does not believe that anything short of a polygraph ... would give them any confidence."

Martin said that, in a telephone conversation in early May, days after Levy disappeared, her mother, Susan Levy, called Condit on a number obtained through her daughter's phone records and asked him directly if he had had an affair with her daughter.

"He lied. He misrepresented his relationship. He told her no," said Martin, who called on Condit to meet with Levy's parents and private investigators they have hired to work on the case.

Senator says she urged Condit to come clean

Condit's admission that he and Levy had a sexual relationship has only deepened reporters' interest in the story. Lowell on Monday urged reporters to turn their attention elsewhere, saying nothing has suggested Condit had anything to do with Levy's disappearance.

"Go take your cameras and your pads and your pencils and try to see if there's somebody else out there who might have some information that could actually find this woman, as opposed to prying into the private lives of the Condits," he said.

In contrast, Martin thanked members of the media for their attention to the case.

"The press has done a very good job in keeping this matter alive. And by keeping this matter alive, it will help us, we believe, to learn where Chandra is or what's happened to her."

Anne Marie Smith
Anne Marie Smith  

Meanwhile, Anne Marie Smith, a United Airlines flight attendant who said she and Condit had an affair until shortly after Levy's disappearance -- and who has claimed Condit asked her to sign a false affidavit denying their affair -- is scheduled to meet with representatives of the U.S. Attorney's office Wednesday in Washington, sources told CNN. Smith's attorney is also scheduled to attend the meeting.

Condit has issued a statement denying that he asked anyone to mislead investigators. His San Francisco attorney, Joe Cotchett, has issued a statement saying the affidavit submitted to Smith was a draft that she was encouraged to edit if she felt it was incorrect.

And Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said Tuesday she called Rep. Gary Condit "a few weeks ago" to urge him to come forward about his relationship with Levy.

"I thought he should go very public with it, that I thought he should step forward and say whatever it was they had between them," Feinstein told CNN. When asked if she was disappointed that Condit did not take her advice, Feinstein replied, "Yes."

-- CNN National Correspondent Bob Franken contributed to this report.






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