An arrest may be near in the murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy, whose murder brought down Congressman Gary Condit and was a cause celeb for several months in 2001. Investigators are focusing on a convicted felon named Ingmar Guandique.
Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadorian national, is in jail for assaulting two women who were jogging in Washington’s Rock Creek Park, where Chandra Levy’s body was found a year after her disappearance in early 2001. There is speculation that a jail house snitch may have pointed the finger at Ingmar Guandique, implicating him in the death of Chandra Levy. Forensic science, which has improved in the eight years since the murder of Chandra Levy, may have also played a role.
Chandra Levy was the mistress of then Congressman Gary Condit, a Democrat from California. For some time, Congressman Gary Condit was a suspect in Chandra Levy’s disappearance and murder. The case, as well as perceptions about Gary Condit’s rather cold demeanor concerning the death of his mistress, contributed to his defeat in the primary in 2002.
Last July, the Washington Post reported that Ingmar Guandique had told investigators that Gary Condit had paid him to kill Chandra Levy. Investigators were somewhat skeptical about that story. They subjected the informant to a polygraph test and found that he was being deceptive about Condit’s involvement in the crime, but results were a little more inconclusive about whether Ingmar Guandique did it or not.
At the time of the polygraph test, investigators had ruled out Ingmar Guandique as a suspect in the Chandra Levy murder. What new evidence has emerged that has suddenly made Ingmar Guandique a suspect again is open to speculation.
The case of Chandra Levy was a major story in the early months of 2001, rivaling that of the OJ Simpson trial at one point. The story had all the elements of what made such a thing made for television. Chandra Levy, then 24, an attractive victim. There was more than the hint of salaciousness due to her relationship with Congressman Gary Condit, thirty years her senior. The idea of a high profile politician being a murder suspect was also interesting. And, finally, there was the mystery, something that could be chewed over endlessly on TV news and talk shows, filling up air time.
Indeed the Chandra Levy case was a prime topic of conversation on September 11th, 2001, up until the first plane hit the World Trade Center and the world changed forever. If Ingmar Guandique is the man who killed Chandra Levy and he is convicted, it would be the end of a case that was once a cause celeb at the beginning of this century, but is now all but forgotten in this age of war and economic turmoil.
Source: Arrest Near In Chandra Levy Case?, CBS News, February 21st, 2001
Who Killed Chandra Levy, Sari Howitz, Scitt Higham, and Sylvia Moreno, Washington Post, July 23rd, 2008