Fox News' Rita Cosby is reporting that police in D.C. are taking dogs to landfills to try to sniff out the body of the missing intern Chandra Levy.

So now the cat is out of the bag. It appears the cops do think she is dead, and dead by murder ... rather than just off on a long vacation, or dead by her own hand. It is, after all, tough to hide the body of a suicide.

So the Levy investigation morphs into a murder investigation, and Calif. Rep. Gary Condit finds himself in deeper and deeper doo-doo.

Why? Does anybody really think the congressman off-ed the intern? No. No evidence of that whatsoever.

However, here's some advice from an old news hound to the newly news hounded ...

If you, Congressman, are going to insist that there was no romantic relationship, that the vivacious 24 year old intern was simply a "good friend", we are going to continue to have problems, because with the skimpy information you've given us, it doesn't add up.

In the last week we've found out that you decided against helping the intern with her job at a government agency, that she was going to have to return home to California when she would have rather stayed in D.C., and that you decided it was time to end your "good friendship".

To the rest of us, that sounds suspiciously like a guy dumping a girlfriend he's tired of, or who has become a pest, or a nuisance.

Since when do "good friends" get dumped? Since when do "good friends", in the words you — the Congressman —  were reported to have used in your police interview ... become "obsessed" with you?

Look, Congressman ... We're not stupid. When someone goes missing or seems to have been murdered, we look for liars.

So far you appear to be the one getting jiggy with the truth ... dodgy, evasive, stretching, obscuring, obfuscating ... shall we say —  Clintonizing?

And that leads cops and the rest of us to wonder why.

Oh yes, we know about your reputation in Modesto, Calif. Straight arrow, family man, Harley-riding, good Christian. And we know maybe this story doesn't fit that image so well.

But this is way beyond your image. This is a murder case. A genuine Colombo deal.

Further covering up isn't going to help.

And one last thing: It was only this week that you revealed your wife was in town when the intern disappeared. This is the chronically ill wife who hardly ever travels to D.C. with her Congressman husband, but she was in town when Levy went missing.

It's facts like these, belatedly revealed, that make people suspicious, and maybe suspicious to a fault.

But we can't help it. It seems like this missing person case is becoming a murder case, and while important people may get a pass on dalliances with interns, we don't give passes for murder.

Not counting O.J.

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