Watch CBSN Live

Chandra Levy's Mom: No Closure in Sentencing

The mother of Chandra Levy said this morning that she still harbored a sliver of doubt that the man convicted in the 2001 death of the Washington intern had murdered her daughter.

Ingmar Guandique, a 29-year-old Salvadoran immigrant with a violent past, was already in prison for attacking two other women in the same park where the Washington intern's remains were found a year after her disappearance. He had told a cellmate of killing Levy.

In November he was convicted of first-degree murder in Levy's 2001 death, without witnesses or DNA evidence to link him to the crime.

On Friday, at Guandique's sentencing hearing, Sandra Levy confronted her daughter's killer in a highly emotional exchange, delivered from just six feet away.

"She looked him in the eye, and she said, 'You know, you are a hideous creature. You are lower than a cockroach. You should rot in hell,'" said Sari Horwitz, co-author of "Finding Chandra." "It was very dramatic."

Sandra Levy then pleaded for the truth about Chandra's murder. "Did you really take her?" she asked. "Look into my eyes right now and tell me."

Guandique silently shook his head "No" in response.

Levy ended the confrontation by directing an expletive at the killer.

It's proof, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane, that even nearly 10 years after Chandra Levy's disappearance, emotions still run raw.

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher called Guandique a sexual predator and a danger to society, before handing down a 60-year sentence.

Guandique's lawyers now have 30 days to appeal.

But, Susan Levy said on "The Early Show" Monday, she had to speak for her daughter and all her family members. "It was emotional, it was very difficult," she told anchor Chris Wragge. "I did ... out of my love for her."

She said it was not typical of her to swear as she did at Guandique.

"I worked hard to get that out," she said. "It's all my emotions of 10 years. It's also, I think, something that he would understand. You don't need an interpreter for that, for the expletive."

She said she could not speculate on how she would have reacted if Guandique had indicated "Yes" when she confronted him. When Wragge asked if she were 100 percent sure that the man was her daughter's murderer, she replied, "Well, to be honest, I always have that 5 percent not being sure. Ninety-five percent I like to believe that the Justice Department is accurate. But there is that 5 percent.

"But they proved in court. It's circumstantial. Not substantial, but circumstantial evidence that he was involved."

Now, 10 years after Levy's disappearance, Wragge asked, "I know there's no sense of closure but is there any sense of peace that you can think of?"

"There's no closure, that's for buildings," Susan Levy said. "You have a daughter that's tragically dead, there's never a sense of peace."

She then spoke movingly of the kind of violent crime that took her daughter - who would now have been 33 years old. "There's 1,318,345 violent crimes committed in 2009 - one murder every three minutes, one violent crime every six seconds, one rape and assault every two minutes. 5.2 million crimes were reported 2007. On average 15,000 to 17,000 people are killed every year since 2000. That's more than what is killed, unfortunately, in Afghanistan.

"This is pervasive, and one of the leading psychological problems in America, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder. We live in a very violent society, and our most important resources are our children and our family, and we need to do something about this problem."

When asked how she would keep her daughter's memory alive, Susan said by speaking out: "When an opportunity occurs, to be my daughter's voice, to bring awareness.

"I know I will be going home and trying to find a new norm for myself and my family. I only say 'cause it's Valentine's Day, but every day, to treasure your children, treasure each other. You are the most important resources - each family member.

"That's how I honor my daughter."

View CBS News In