WASHINGTON – Police investigating the death of Chandra Levy have found a knotted clothing item and suspect the former federal intern may have been tied up with it, according to a report in The Washington Post's online edition Friday.
Earlier Friday, WTTG-TV in Washington reported that a source at the scene where Levy's remains were found said that evidence indicated Levy had been restrained in some way. Washington police would not confirm or deny the WTTG report and Washington Deputy Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer angrily cautioned that the report was irresponsible and the information could hurt the investigation.
Police investigating Levy's death said most evidence points to murder. Among that evidence medical examiner Dr. Jonathan Arden's report that Levy's skull had a crack in it.
Arden is trying to determine if the crack in the skull was the cause of her death or contributed to her death, or if it came after she was already dead. The skull Arden is examining is not a complete skull.
Investigators plan to re-interview a number of people, including Ingmar Guandique, 20, a man convicted of assaulting two women last year in Rock Creek Park, where Levy's remains were found on a steep slope beneath underbrush Wednesday.
According to court papers, Guandique attacked a woman on May 14, 2001 and another on July 1 not far from where Levy's body was found. The women told police they were jogging when a man with a knife grabbed them. Both fought and escaped.
Both women were carrying portable radios and wearing headphones when they were attacked. Police said they found a radio and headphones among Levy's remains. She disappeared May 1, 2001, two weeks before the first assault.
Police Chief Charles Ramsey said investigators talked to Guandique months ago after U.S. Park Police alerted them to the arrest. "He said nothing to implicate himself with her, but then again we didn't know she was in Rock Creek Park," Ramsey said. He cautioned against calling the man a suspect.
Police may also re-interview Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif.
On Friday, investigators were using a device normally employed at car accidents to try to determine how the intern's remains wound up where they were found.
Investigators used a device called a "total station" to create a computer grid of the search area. The device normally is used at traffic accidents to measure skid marks and other evidence to determine how crashes occurred.
Investigators are using it to plot coordinates where remains and other evidence were found. For instance, the device might be able to tell police whether the body was dumped and rolled down the embankment.
The Levy family pressed to have the case classified as a homicide, and Ramsey said, "I wouldn't be surprised if it were."
Indications in that direction include the former government intern's young age and fitness as well as the discovery of her remains beneath leaves and underbrush "off the beaten path" of Rock Creek Park, Ramsey said.
Police spokesman Joe Gentile told Fox News that search teams combing the park last summer never reached the sloping thicket where Levy's remains were found. The site was several hundred yards beyond the range of their standard canvassing patterns.
Ramsey said the case will remain simply a "death investigation" until Arden makes his determination of how Levy died.
The remains of Levy, 24, of Modesto, Calif., were found by a man walking his dog Wednesday morning. They were located on a steep slope and identified later in the day using dental records.
Ramsey said investigators plan to talk to people who live near and use the park. He also said Condit may be among the people investigators want to talk to again.
Condit has acknowledged an affair with Levy, a police source says, but denies any involvement in her disappearance. Police interviewed him four times and repeatedly have said he is not a suspect.
Investigators resumed their search of the area Thursday, painstakingly sifting through dirt and leaves looking for blood, hairs, clothing fibers or other evidence that could help determine when and how Levy died. Also on the scene were anthropologists and biologists who were lending their expertise to the police.
The items recovered with the skull and bones Wednesday included a jogging bra, tennis shoes, University of Southern California sweatshirt and other clothing. Levy, who had been a Bureau of Prisons intern in Washington, was a graduate student at USC.
Ramsey would not say whether any evidence of foul play had been found. Gainer said the skull was "not in pristine condition," but he could not conclude whether the damage to it came before or after Levy died.
Dr. Cyril Wecht, the county coroner in Pittsburgh, said an examination of the bones would quickly yield any indications whether Levy was shot, stabbed or beaten to death. "Those exams have been completed," Wecht said, noting they typically take no more than a few hours.
Strangulation, which often does not involve fracturing bones or cartilage, would be harder to determine, he said.
He also said investigators are unlikely to find much physical evidence at the scene that would help them identify a potential killer because such evidence probably deteriorated during 13 months outdoors.
DNA analysis can take a couple of weeks to complete, he said.
A spokesman for the Levy family said a memorial service for Chandra Levy will be held next Tuesday at Modesto's Community Center.
Fox News' Rita Cosby, Molly Henneberg and The Associated Press contributed to this report.