Gruesome, Unsolved Murders Haunt Levy Investigation
WASHINGTON – While most of the media obsess over Chandra Levy's relationship with Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., others want more attention focused on the possibility the missing intern may have been the victim of a street crime totally unrelated to the congressman.
Sources have told Fox News Levy was having an affair with Condit, who is married and has insisted the two were "close friends" while she served as an intern for the Bureau of Prisons. Levy's parents are expected to appear at a Washington, D.C., press conference on Wednesday to discuss their daughter's disappearance.
Levy's parents arrived at Dulles airport in Virginia late Tuesday. They were taken off the plane without passing through the gate where a swarm of media were awaiting their arrival.
Robert and Susan Levy have hired a new lawyer, though they've yet to identify him. After speaking to the press they are sceduled to head back to California Thursday.
D.C. police insist they have no evidence Levy, officially still a missing person, has fallen prey to a serial killer or any other criminal. But nor have they discounted the possibility 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.
Some have compared the Levy case to that of Joyce Chiang, a 28-year-old who went missing in April of 1999. The government attorney's body was found floating in the Potomac River in Virginia three months later, and police were never able to close the case.
Chiang was last seen headed towards the Dupont Circle Starbucks, not far from Levy's apartment. Police said her body was too decomposed to determine the cause of death, so she may or may not have been murdered.
Almost a year earlier, in August 1998, the body of Christine Mirzayan was found beaten to death in the Georgetown section of D.C. That case, too, was never solved. Mirzayan, a respected biologist, was walking home alone from a barbecue to her dormitory at Georgetown University. Her body had been found on Canal Street.
There's also the issue of general street crime in the Dupont area. Just this week, a young couple last seen emerging from a neighborhood nightclub were found shot dead in nearby Maryland.
Michael Eugene Patten, 29, and Lee Anne Browne, 24, appear to have been carjacked and robbed, as Patten's 1990 Acura, cash and credit cards are missing, according to police. The couple was last seen early Sunday leaving the popular LuLu's club at 1217 22nd St., around the corner from Levy's apartment.
Some local residents feel police haven't done a good job of informing the public about crime in the area.
"I live blocks away from what happened. This really hits close to home," said criminal defense attorney Kim Hallmark, who said there has been a series of area robberies that have not been well-reported by the media or police. "If it's not a suppression of information, it may be a lack of responsibility to the community."
D.C. police said Tuesday there were no other "high-profile" cases of female missing persons in the Dupont Circle area, though Condit's chief of staff has been telling reporters they believe there are "five or six" such cases.
Levy was last seen the evening of April 30 at her gym. She had been preparing to return home to California, and police have since found her bags packed – including her pocketbook and credit cards – locked inside her apartment.