April 23, 2009 in Nation/World

Murder charges filed in Chandra Levy case

Nafeesa Syeed Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Ingmar Guandique, 27, center, who is accused of killing Chandra Levy, is escorted from the Violent Crimes Unit by detectives Tom Williams, left, and Emilio Martinez in Washington on Wednesday.
(Full-size photo)

WASHINGTON – Nearly eight years after Chandra Levy’s disappearance, the man accused of killing the federal government intern was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder.

Ingmar Guandique, 27, was expected to have his initial court appearance today in District of Columbia Superior Court. A D.C. police arrest warrant issued last month accuses him of sexually assaulting and killing Levy on a trail in Rock Creek Park in May 2001. The Modesto, Calif., native’s remains were found in the Washington park a year later.

The illegal immigrant from El Salvador had been serving a 10-year sentence in California for a separate assault. He was brought to the D.C. police department late Wednesday in a dark Chevrolet sedan, and escorted into the building by three detectives. Handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit, Guandique walked with his head down. A reporter asked if he had anything to say, but the prisoner did not respond.

When he left the building 1 1/2 hours later, reporters asked more questions and photographers scrambled to get a shot of him. Visible on Guandique’s neck was a tattoo referencing the MS-13 gang.

Police said Guandique was fingerprinted, photographed and booked before being returned to the D.C. jail for the night.

The 24-year-old Levy had just completed an internship with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons when she disappeared after leaving her apartment in jogging clothes. The Levy case has been blamed for destroying the political career of former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California, who was romantically linked to Levy. Authorities questioned Condit, but he was never a suspect in her death.

Last month, police released a detailed affidavit with the arrest warrant, listing a dozen witnesses who helped point investigators to Guandique. At least two of the witnesses claim Guandique told them he killed Levy.

Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has said a grand jury will convene to consider indicting Guandique.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email