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Police scour D.C. park in Levy search

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Former intern Chandra Levy  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Police continued their search for missing former intern Chandra Levy on Tuesday in Washington's sprawling Rock Creek Park.

Investigators and a group of 28 police cadets resumed the search of sections of the 2,820-acre park.

Almost immediately after the search resumed, searchers found a box-cutting knife and a pair of new running shoes, police said.

On Monday, searchers spent more than six hours searching for clues.

VIDEO
Missing persons cases are handled with certain procedures. Police tell CNN's Eileen O'Connor how that applies to the Levy case (July 16)

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CNN's Bob Franken reports on where police are searching for Chandra Levy (July 16)

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Condit's attorney says Condit passed important questions on polygraph test (July 13)

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RESOURCES
Map of Rock Creek Park  (pdf)
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Message board: The case of the missing intern  
 
EXTRA INFORMATION
Photo Gallery: Composite images of Chandra Levy released by police  
Interactive timeline  
Polygraph facts  
 
MORE STORIES
On the Scene: Bob Franken on the Levy disappearance probe
 
On the Scene: Jonathan Karl on how Condit story is playing on Capitol Hill
 
Time.com: What kind of case does Gary Condit have?
 
 

Authorities said the 24-year-old Levy had browsed a Web site that included information about the Klingle Mansion, an 1823 farmhouse now used as park offices, before she disappeared.

Police said they do not have any specific information Levy had been there, but they are following up on any possibilities.

"Right now we just don't have any clues that bring us any closer to finding Chandra, so we can't afford to overlook anything," Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey told CNN.

Levy has been missing for nearly 11 weeks. Police still consider her case a missing persons investigation, but it has garnered national media attention because of her connection to Rep. Gary Condit, D-California.

The Levy family has said the former intern had a romantic relationship with the congressman, but police sources said Condit did not admit that until a third interview with law enforcement officials. He has made no public comment on Levy's disappearance or their relationship, other than an early statement that the two were "good friends."

Investigators found several bones Monday afternoon, but authorities said they probably were not human remains.

"In my opinion, there will be a lot of bones like that in the park," said Lt. Joseph Cox, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police. "There is a lot of wildlife in Rock Creek Park, and that wouldn't be uncommon to find something like that."

Nevertheless, Cox said, the bone would be taken to a medical examiner to determine its origin.

Television show prompts 160-plus tips

Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer said police will divide the city into grids and search in culverts and alleys "where someone may have committed suicide" or where a driver may have pulled off the road and dumped a body.

A prior plan to search area landfills has been abandoned, he said. Landfill owners told police it could take one person a year and cost $6 million to search just one landfill. And police have no reason to believe Levy's body could be in a landfill, Gainer said.

About 165 tips on the Levy case emerged after the Saturday night broadcast of "America's Most Wanted," according to the show's host and missing persons' advocate John Walsh.

One caller reported seeing someone in a van near Levy's apartment -- the day before she disappeared -- trying to lure women into the van.

"We're going to check our records and see if there were any calls that came in. ... we've talked to other people in that area to find out whether they saw anything suspicious," Ramsey said. "We take it very seriously."

Many clues have led nowhere. Ramsey said someone in Levy's apartment building called 911 around 4:30 a.m. May 1 saying she thought she heard screams outside the building.

But police who responded to the call found nothing and Ramsey discounted the possibility that it could have been related to Levy's disappearance, since later that day -- from approximately 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. -- there was "a great deal of activity" on her computer.

The Levy case is one of about 40 open missing persons cases the Washington police are investigating, Gainer said. But it is distinguished by the absence of apparent progress in resolving it, he said. "Most of the people are either found or come back on their own."

Private polygraph angers police

Police say Condit is not considered a suspect in Levy's disappearance. He's one of more than 100 people authorities have questioned in the case. At the invitation of Condit lawyer Abbe Lowell, police have searched the congressman's apartment and took a DNA sample from him.

The Senate's top Republican said Sunday that Condit should resign if it's true he had an extramarital affair with Levy.

"Infidelity is always unacceptable, but particularly when you have an elected official involved in a position of trust with a young girl, an intern. If these allegations are true, obviously he should resign, and if he doesn't, the people of his district probably will not re-elect him," Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said on Fox News Sunday.

But another Republican lawmaker disagreed with the idea that Condit should resign because of an affair. "I mean, if infidelity is the test, there'd be a number of members of Congress that should resign," Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut said on CNN.

Last Friday, an attorney for Condit said the California congressman passed a lie-detector test and that the results would be given to police. But Ramsey said his department had received nothing and was misled into believing that police would be involved in administering the test.

"I'm not happy with how they did it. I don't know how an examiner could possibly give an exam like that without knowing all the facts in the case," Ramsey said. "They didn't ask us; in fact, they misled us into believing it was somehow going to be a cooperative effort. That didn't happen."

Ramsey added he was "disappointed" in the way Condit and his attorneys communicated with police about the polygraph test.

"We were told that the congressman was busy, attending sessions, things of that nature," he said. "Obviously that wasn't true, so we would just like everybody to be up front and honest and if you're going to do a private exam, just say so."

Ramsey would not say whether police have administered polygraphs to anyone else in the case.

Levy family attorney Billy Martin said the Levy family would like to have Condit "once and for all sit down and tell the truth. We do not now accuse Congressman Condit of any wrongdoing. What we accuse Congressman Condit of doing is failing to help the investigation by stalling."

Condit could also face an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Rep. Bob Barr, R-Georgia, filed an ethics complaint against Condit on Friday alleging there is "substantial evidence" Condit had impeded a criminal investigation.






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