MODESTO, Calif. – A group of criminal justice students at a small Atlanta college are preparing to launch their own investigation into the 2001 disappearance and killing of government intern Chandra Levy.
Since 2005, students at Bauder College have sifted through old evidence and case files from unsolved crimes as part of the school's Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, said institute director Sheryl McCollum. This year, Levy's death and the disappearance three years ago of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba are on their agenda.
The 50 students will not be graded or get course credit for their work interviewing experts associated with the cases, preparing timelines and looking for clues in Levy's computer, but plan to turn their findings and recommendations over to District of Columbia police and prosecutors at the end of the term.
"Students will put her picture up and look at it every day," McCollum said. "Our motto is 'Justice delayed, not denied.' How do you just stop trying?"
Levy, 24, had just finished working as an intern for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in May 2001 when she disappeared from her Washington apartment. Her body was found in Rock Creek Park a year later and her death ruled a homicide, but no one has been charged.
The case attracted widespread attention over allegations that Levy had been romantically involved with the married U.S. Rep. Gary Condit when she went missing. It was cited as the main cause of the congressman's re-election defeat in the March 2002 primary.
Levy's mother, Susan Levy, said she welcomes the renewed attention her daughter's death will receive. Most of the investigators originally involved in the case have since retired or moved onto other jobs, and Susan Levy said she has to work to make sure it isn't forgotten.
"It's always good to have a fresh look," she said, adding that "a lot of things still don't make sense."
In the past, McCollum's students have researched the 1996 shooting death of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas and the conviction of Wayne Williams, who was blamed for the murders of two dozen children and young men in Atlanta during the late 1970s and early '80.