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Levy's remains in overlooked area of park

Police found the remains in a heavily wooded area of the sprawling park.
Police found the remains in a heavily wooded area of the sprawling park.  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Police did not search last summer the specific spot where Chandra Levy's skeletal remains were found, a police spokesman said Friday, adding that it would have been impossible to search all of Washington's sprawling 1,755-acre Rock Creek Park.

"That area was not searched," D.C. police Sgt. Joe Gentile said. "It's a difficult area to get into, and that's not an area where a jogger might have been."

Her remains -- along with some clothing including a sweatshirt and sneakers -- were discovered Wednesday in a remote area of the park, thick with underbrush, by a man walking his dog. Police say a Walkman tape player was also found in the area, at the base of a steep cliff.

CNN's Kathleen Koch says a man who used Rock Creek Park as a 'hunting ground' to assault women faces new scrutiny in the death of Chandra Levy (May 23)

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"The only question for us right now while we wait to get more information about Ms. Levy's death is what was she doing in the park?" assistant police chief Terrance Gainer told CNN.

"Was she jogging? Was she alone, was she with someone? Was she meeting someone? Did she meet someone there that she didn't know and maybe struck up an acquaintance? Those are the things that are going to drive where we go in this investigation."

One angle investigators are exploring is whether the Levy case can be connected to two assaults in the park last summer. A man identified as Ingmar Guandeque is serving a 10-year prison sentence for those two assaults, one of which occurred only two weeks after Levy was last reported seen in Washington on April 30, 2001.

"Clearly anybody would be drawn to someone convicted of attacking joggers in that park," Gainer said.

A knife-wielding Guandeque "appears to have used Rock Creek Park as a hunting ground, waiting beside popular running trails, selecting victims and stalking them," according to court papers filed at the time of his sentencing.

Police said they want to talk to Guandeque about the Levy case.

"The only real link is the fact that he was convicted of crimes in the park," Gainer said. "We were aware of him, aware of the circumstance, monitored his conviction and actually talked to him before. But now that we know where Chandra was found, where she lay for some apparent 12 months, we'll go back and look at him and others.

"He is just one of a number of individuals over these 12 months that we have looked at very closely who may have been involved in crimes with women, whether it was here in the metropolitan area or across the United States."

A public memorial service is expected Tuesday in Levy's California hometown of Modesto.

Her family remained in seclusion Friday.

The search for Levy and massive publicity that accompanied it was largely a result of her connection to Rep. Gary Condit, D-California.

Her family and police sources say the two had an affair, but the lawmaker has publicly acknowledged only a friendship and refused to describe it further. Police sources said he confirmed a romantic relationship with Levy during one interview with investigators.

Neither Condit nor anyone else has ever been named as a suspect in Levy's disappearance.




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