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Police chief concedes no hard leads in Levy case

Chandra Levy
Chandra Levy  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Despite hundreds of tips, widespread searches and red-hot publicity, police have no clear idea what happened to Chandra Levy, Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsey said.

"We still don't have a hard lead," Ramsey told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday night. "We still don't have anything that causes us now to focus our investigation on one of the main possibilities that are still open to us, so right now we're still wondering what happened to Chandra Levy."

The former government intern has been missing for more than two months.

Police wrapped up a fourth day of searching city parks, including Rock Creek Park, with no indication that they had found anything that could provide a break in the case.

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CNN's Jonathan Karl tracks the last days of Chandra Levy's known whereabouts

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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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RESOURCES
Map of search area  
Message board: The case of the missing intern  
 
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Interactive: Key players in investigation  
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On the Scene: Bob Franken on the facts of the Levy disappearance  
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"We don't have any suspects in this case," Ramsey said. "We still don't have any evidence of a crime."

In a separate interview with WUSA, a television station, Ramsey disputed the suggestion the investigation had hit a brick wall, but he admitted police were challenged in their attempt to determine what happened to Levy.

"It certainly is getting to a point now where it's kind of baffling because we don't have any information one way or another, so we can't really narrowly focus," Ramsey said.

The chief appeared to attach little significance to a move by the FBI, which is working with local police, to transfer the Levy case to a unit that handles long-term investigations.

"The last time I checked, I don't work for the FBI," Ramsey said. "I work for the mayor of the District of Columbia, so they can do whatever they want to do. So we have a good relationship with the FBI.

In other developments, police sources told CNN Thursday night that four hours before police began a search of U.S. Rep. Gary Condit's apartment last week, the congressman was spotted at a northern Virginia site, dumping something into a trash can.

A witness, who recognized Condit, D-California, from news coverage on the Levy case, called police after he saw Condit, the man investigators say had a romantic relationship with Levy.

Police then went to the trash can and recovered a watch case, according to the police source, and were able to trace the case to the store where it was purchased and then to the woman who bought it. Police interviewed the woman, not Levy, who told them she had given the watch to Condit.

But the same knowledgeable police source said that investigators continue to stress there is no evidence connecting Condit to the disappearance of Levy. And, the source said, investigators don't believe Condit is involved in Levy's disappearance.

One of last to see Levy

Meanwhile, a health club employee who may be the last known person to see Levy said Thursday she was happy to be departing Washington.

The man, who worked in the membership department of the sports club where Levy worked out, appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America." He was not identified.

The man said Levy came in April 30 to cancel her membership, and he told her she could use the remaining 30 days she had paid for at a club in Modesto, California. It was the last known sighting of Levy.

"She very clearly said she was leaving. She was smiling. She was ready to go," he said. He gave Levy a Xerox copy of the address of the Modesto club, he said.

The man said Levy appeared to him to be the same as always. He said he believes she is still alive.

"I saw her almost every day. She worked out all the time in the evenings," he said. "She almost always came by and said hello. If there was a problem, she came by. That was her pattern. She was very friendly. She came by, waved."

The health club employee said: "There was a time in December or January when we discussed putting her membership on hold because she was going away for a while."

Asked if Levy appeared different on the night of April 30, the man said, "No, she was always the same, very upbeat, very happy. She was very private. She was not social with a lot of people in the club, but she was always upbeat."

Condits
Rep. Gary Condit, his wife Carolyn and daughter Cadee appear in recent Christmas card.  

Asked if anyone ever came to the club with her, the man said no. Asked if he had ever seen Condit, the man investigators say has admitted having had a romantic relationship with Levy, the man said he had not known Condit. "I wouldn't have noticed him," he said.

The man added, "She was not disoriented. She was very much the same person as when I met her."

Condit, 53, was on Capitol Hill Thursday where he attended a meeting of the House Agriculture Committee. As he has for weeks, Condit ignored the horde of reporters and television cameras that follow him.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct Thursday rejected a request by Rep. Bob Barr, R-Georgia, to open an inquiry into Condit's actions.

Barr requested the investigation last week, claiming Condit "obstructed a law enforcement investigation and otherwise engaged in behavior in violation of the Rules of the House."

In response, Committee Chairman Joel Hefley, R-Colorado, and Rep. Howard L. Berman, D-California, noted that the panel can defer action when the allegations are under study by "appropriate law enforcement or regulatory authorities."

Police won't quit till all leads exhausted

In the WUSA interview, Ramsey said police would stop working the case only "when we exhaust all investigative leads."

As he has before, Ramsey emphasized police are not focusing on Condit and said he is just one of many people that police may want to interviews again. Condit has already talked to police three times.

"We have a missing persons investigation," he said. "We have a lot of things that we've done. We've got a lot of things yet to do. We're going to continue to stay focused. We're the lead investigators on this case and we're going to do everything we can to find Chandra Levy. The rest of this stuff is just a huge distraction."

Speaking with CNN, Ramsey said he did not know of anything taken from Condit's apartment -- after the lawmaker allowed police to search it last week -- that might help the case.

While cautioning that the analysis of the materials was not yet complete, he said he knew of no breakthrough. "I don't believe there's anything of significance," Ramsey said. "Had there been, I'm sure I would have known about it by now."

Ramsey said both police and FBI are going over Condit's polygraph results from a privately conducted test. But, he said, he believed it was unlikely it would be of any use in the case.

"From what I've been told, there's nothing that's going to come of that -- that's going to be of any particular use because we still don't know exactly which questions were asked, what the graph represents," he said.

Ramsey would not say whether other individuals had been given a polygraph test, but called it a valuable investigative tool.






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