Police to Issue Warrant in Chandra Levy Case

Suspect is a felon serving time for assaults in park where Levy went missing.

February 21, 2009, 1:07 PM

Feb. 21, 2009— -- Police investigating the 2001 "cold case" murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy plan to seek a warrant for the arrest of a convicted felon, currently serving jail time, who has emerged as the primary suspect in the Levy case.

The suspect, Ingmar Guandique, has been in jail since approximately July 2001 for two nonfatal attacks on women in the city's Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., where Levy's body was discovered in 2002.

Police hope to serve the warrant before Guandique is paroled.

Officially police are not commenting on the case, but a source inside the D.C. police department told ABC News that Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier had contacted the Levy family to update them on developments.

"The Metropolitan Police Department has no information available for release in this ongoing investigation. This case generated numerous bits of information, which we continue to follow up on," police said in a statement.

Levy's disappearance dominated headlines for weeks after it was revealed that the 24-year-old woman had been having an affair with then-California congressman Gary Condit.

A cloud hung over Condit for years and the scandal was widely considered the reason he lost his seat in Congress.

"For the Levy family, we are glad they are finally getting the answers they deserve. For my family, I am glad that their years of standing together in the face of such adversity have finally led to the truth," Condit told Washington D.C. affiliate WJLA from his home in Arizona.

"It is unfortunate that an insatiable appetite for sensationalism blocked so many from searching for the real answers for so long. I had always hoped to have the opportunity to tell my side of this story, but too many were not prepared to listen. Now I plan to do so, but I will have no further comments on this story at this time," he said.

Condit is believed to be mulling a book project.

Guandique attacked a woman two weeks after Chandra's disappearance in the middle of May 2001, and another in July. The women were jogging in Rock Creek Park when he "clotheslined" them and dragged them down a hill. Both women escaped and identified Guandique, who ultimately was caught and pleaded guilty.

Guandique is now serving a 10-year sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary-Victorville in Adelanto, Calif., and is eligible for parole in 2011. The FBI most likely wants to close the Levy case before his parole date, Brad Garrett tells ABC News.

Guandique was the focus of the last three parts of a 12-part series on Levy's disappearance in the Washington Post last year. He told the Post then that he had nothing to do with Levy's disappearance:

"Regarding the case of the girl, Chandra Levy: I don't know anything about that case. In 2001, the FBI went to see me when I was in the [D.C. jail]. That was when I learned about that girl," Guandique said. "Before that, I had never seen her and I don't understand the reason why the police started to suspect me. ... I have nothing to do with the death of that girl. I am innocent and I am not afraid of the police investigation."

After the Post series, D.C. and FBI cold-case squad detectives reexamined their evidence. The problem had always been a lack of conclusive physical evidence to tie Guandique to the murder.

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