Chandra Levy arrived in Washington, D.C. as an enthusiastic intern excited to be working at the Bureau of Prisons. She had hopes to one day land a job at the FBI.
But before Chandra could make her mark in Washington, D.C. she disappeared without a trace. Oxygen’s "Mysteries & Scandals" delves into the disappearance and death of Chandra Levy. Here are some key facts about the case that people may have forgotten.
1. Chandra Disappeared Without A TraceOn May 1, 2001 Chandra Levy disappeared. Levy had finished her internship in Washington, D.C. and was set to move back to California. She was meant to be back for her college graduation from USC on May 11. But Levy never left D.C., and never made it to graduation.
2. Chandra’s Neighbors Reported A Scream The Day She Went MissingAt 4:30am on the day Chandra went missing, there was a 911 call to police from her neighbors. The neighbors had reported there was a scream coming from somewhere in the building. Police came to the building but no one was able to determine the source of the scream.
3. Security Cameras Missed Chandra Coming and GoingThe apartment building in which Chandra lived at the time she disappeared was equipped with security cameras. However, the delay from when she was reported missing until they police obtained a search warrant was such that the camera footage had been recycled over. Had investigators been more urgent in finding Chandra, they may have been able to obtain video footage of her entering and exiting the building, which in turn could have led to more clues to her disappearance that night.
4. Congressman Gary Condit Was Not Connected To Her DisappearanceThough Chandra didn’t work with California Congressman Gary Condit, phone records show that she was in communication with Condit throughout her time in D.C. Condit has always denied having involvement with her romantically or having anything to do with her disappearance and death.
5. Detectives Deleted Chandra’s Laptop Search HistoryAccording to court testimony, during a visit to Chandra’s apartment a little more than a week after she disappeared, detectives accidentally erased her history on her laptop. Because of this they lost potential information that could have led to her death more quickly. They were able to recover her search history but only after a month of technical recovery.
7. Police Didn’t Search CorrectlyAccording to Michael Doyle, the Washington Correspondent for McClatchy News who appears in the episode of "Mysteries & Scandals," the police department was supposed to search within 100 yards of all roads and trails of Rock Creek Park (one of the places found in Chandra’s laptop history). However, because of a miscommunication only the roads were searched and not the trails. This proved to be a costly mistake in finding Chandra.
8. Chandra Found In Rock Creek Park A Year LaterIn May 2002, a year after Chandra went missing, police got a call from a jogger who said that he had found a human skull while jogging on a trail in Rock Creek Park. Police found a Walkman, a USC shirt and an array of bones at the location. Using dental records, police were able to determine that it was in fact Chandra Levy.
9. Crime Scene Detectives Missed Key EvidenceWhen Private Investigator Joe McCann was asked to return to the crime scene later, he whimsically raked some leaves around the area where Chandra’s body was found. When doing this McCann found Chandra’s femur bone. “I suppose they could miss it but I just don’t know how,” McCann says in Oxygen’s Mysteries & Scandals.
10. There’s Male DNA But It Hasn’t Been MatchedThere was male DNA found on the belongings of Chandra Levy found in Rock Creek Park. However, the DNA has not been matched to anyone (including Gary Condit).
11. There Is No Confirmed Cause of Death for Chandra LevyBecause Chandra’s body spent a year decomposing in the woods of Rock Creek Park, medical examiners were unable to determine the cause of death. The clothing evidence recovered revealed no blood and no knife marks.
12. Chandra Had “Big News”Days after her internship ended, Chandra called her aunt and left a message that she isn’t sure what she’s doing for the summer but that she had “big news” to tell her. Many consider this one of the biggest puzzles of the Chandra Levy case.
Though Ingmar Guandique was a felon who had been sentenced to prison for assaulting two other women in the same park where Chandra was found, there was no forensic evidence that connected Guandique to Chandra Levy. Though he was prosecuted and convicted of first degree murder, Guandique was granted an appeal and a new trial. But he never went to court. In a stunning twist, the prosecution dropped all charges.
Condit and the alleged affair initially were a focus of the investigation, but police ultimately ruled him out as a suspect in her murder.
Chandra’s family and friends continue to search for Chandra’s killer to this day.