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Search for Levy expands to small D.C. parks

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Washington police expanded their search for missing former intern Chandra Levy to include three small city parks.

Fort Davis, Fort Chaplin, Fort Mahan Parks are the subject of a Wednesday search by police and police recruits. Rainy weather hampered the search, said Sgt. Bob Panizari, but police recruits were to spend the day carefully searching the three parks while looking for signs of Levy at the huge Rock Creek National Park.

Police also said they would release a list of Web sites that Levy had visited before her disappearance, based on authorities' investigation of her home computer.

Levy visited newspaper, restaurant and government sites on her home computer that day, apparently looking for travel information for her planned return home to California.

CNN's Ed Lavandera reports on the mood of the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, (D) California (July 18)

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Chandra's laptop, park searches and polygraph results -- CNN's Bob Franken reports (July 17)

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Map of search area  
Message board: The case of the missing intern  
Photo Gallery: Composite images of Chandra Levy released by police  
Interactive timeline  
Polygraph facts  
On the Scene: Bob Franken on the facts of the Levy disappearance  
On the Scene: Jonathan Karl on how Condit story is playing on Capitol Hill What kind of case does Gary Condit have?  

Meanwhile, the FBI -- which has been working with District of Columbia police on the investigation -- has transferred the case to a unit that handles long-term investigations, CNN has learned. Until now, the case had involved an FBI unit that assists with short-term investigations.

The new unit is expected to take a fresh look at an investigation that so far has produced few clues.

In Modesto, California, Levy's father, Dr. Robert Levy, spoke to reporters gathered Wednesday outside his home. He expressed confidence in the police search for clues. "I think they're doing everything they're able to right now," he said. "We're just trying to keep our hopes up. Levy said he was "really emotionally pretty distraught, unhappy and sad and angry and just everything all at once."

The 24-year-old Levy's disappearance nearly 11 weeks ago is being treated as a missing person investigation because of a lack of evidence indicating foul play or suicide. It has attracted national news media attention because of her connection to Rep. Gary Condit, D-California.

Condit was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, taking his seat at a hearing involving the House Agriculture Committee, on which he serves.

On Tuesday, police combed two other Washington parks but found no clues they could immediately tie to a case that has frustrated and perplexed authorities for more than two months.

"We'll be there probably for another two to four weeks, given the amount of territory we have to search," Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer said Tuesday night.

Police said they don't have any specific information Levy went to Rock Creek, whose sprawling 2,820 acres were searched Tuesday. It's very near her apartment in the Dupont Circle area. The area of the park police are searching is about two miles from Levy's apartment.

Authorities said that on May 1, the day after she was last reported seen, Levy browsed a Web site that included information on the area, which is near the park's Klingle Mansion.

Investigators found a knife and some men's running shoes Tuesday in Rock Creek Park. There was no word on what, if anything, they found in Fort Dupont Park in the southeast quadrant of the city, far from the northwest neighborhood where Levy lived. The searches lasted roughly eight hours.

The sergeant from the special investigations unit described the recovered blade as a box-cutting knife, which was found near the shoes and an empty Nike brand shoe box. He said he expects investigators to find more such discarded items as they continue their search.

The Levy family has said their daughter had a romantic relationship with the 53-year-old married 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 the young woman's disappearance, beyond a written statement weeks ago calling her a "good friend."

Police have said Condit is not considered a suspect in the disappearance.

Two Republicans -- Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia and Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi -- have called on Condit to resign over the matter.

At the invitation of Condit lawyer Abbe Lowell, police have searched the congressman's apartment and took a DNA sample from him. Lowell last week said Condit passed a privately conducted polygraph test, although police have criticized the test because none of the investigating officers were present.

A Lowell spokeswoman said Tuesday all material from the test have been given to police.

On Monday, police briefly cordoned off an area of Rock Creek Park popular with joggers and others after finding a four-inch-long bone near the mansion. Police said it was probably not human and sent it out for further analysis.

-- CNN National Correspondent Eileen O'Connor contributed to this report.

• National Park Service: Rock Creek Park
• AMW: America's Most Wanted
• DC Metropolitan Police Department

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