Chandra Lawyer Asks Public to Help Find Missing Intern
Chandra Levy's parents' new lawyer held a press conference today in Washington to implore the public to help locate the missing 24-year-old intern.
Robert and Susan Levy attended the press conference, but made no statement.
Their high-powered attorney, Billy Martin, said that a toll-free telephone number — 800-860-6552 — and an e-mail address — email@example.com — had been set up to enable anyone with information about Chandra's disappearance to contact the family.
Martin and Chandra's parents then went to Washington police headquarters, where they met with Police Chief Charles Ramsey. After the meeting, Martin said Ramsey was viewing the case as a "critical missing person." Earlier he said he hoped the police would upgrade their investigation to something beyond a routine missing-person probe.
Susan Levy also spoke briefly after the meeting. "We are very heartbroken that we do not know where our daughter is," she said. "We continue to believe that she will come back alive."
She asked the public for its understanding and again urged anyone with information to contact the family. She did not take questions.
Martin also said he would welcome a phone call from California congressman Gary Condit, D-Calif. "We would ask Congressman Condit and anybody else with information to come forward and please cooperate with police," Martin said.
At the earlier press conference, he said he hoped to "really find out" the "depth" of the relationship between Chandra and Condit.
In response to the press conference, Condit issued a paper statment saying that "anyone who saw" it "cannot help but feel their deep concern and worry.
"People following these events know that I met with police officials as soon as Chandra Levy was reported missing and answered their questions in hope that any information I had could help find her. Since that time, I have spoken with the police again and reached out to Ms Levy's parents.
If there is any new information that I can provide, I will do so without hesitation. All I ask is that the media show restraint & avoid distracting the public and law enforcement from their primary task of trying to find Chandra. The 'tabloidization' of these terrible circumstances can only cause more pain to the Levys while at the same time doing nothing to help find Chandra."
Condit's attorney Joe Cotchett said he did not expect the congressman would meet with the Levys in Washington. He said his client tried to reach out to the family over the weekend via a phone call and they rejected him.
Chandra's disappearance six weeks ago has sparked intense speculation about her whereabouts and the nature of her relationship with Condit, who is married.
Police said today that Condit "is absolutely not a suspect" in the young woman's disappearance, but they plan to interview the congressman for a second time.
"We'd like to know more about his relationship with Miss Levy and what insight he might have into her mindset," said Terrance W. Gainer, Washington's executive assistant chief of police. "We want to find out more about her and how she lived and what she was thinking."
Gainer said police have spoken to dozens of people about Levy, some more than once. No time was set for police to talk to Condit, though it could occur as early as Thursday.
Condit, 53, has described Levy as a "good friend" and contributed $10,000 from his campaign funds to a reward. But Levy's mother has said Chandra told her she was seeing the congressman, who is married.
Levy's parents traveled from their Modesto, Calif., home to Washington late Tuesday to meet with Martin, whose clients have included the mother of Monica Lewinsky and heavyweight boxer Riddick Bowe. He currently is representing Cincinnati as the Justice Department investigates the city's police force.
Meanwhile, some D.C. residents want more attention focused on the possibility that Levy may have been the victim of a street crime totally unrelated to her relationship with the congressman.
D.C. police insist they have no evidence that Levy, officially still a missing person, has fallen prey to a serial killer or any other criminal. But they have not discounted the possibility that Levy's disappearance may be linked to the still-unexplained deaths of other young Washington women in recent years, or on the general crime problem in her Dupont Circle neighborhood.
"The media is talking about serial killers when there is no evidence to indicate there is a serial killer," said Sgt. Joseph Gentile, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department. "We're not in the business of speculating. We have no evidence that Miss Levy is dead," he added.
Fox News' Kelly O. Beaucar, Rita Cosby and The Associated Press contributed to this report