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Chandra's Death Was Murder

The Washington, D.C., medical examiner has determined that 24-year-old federal intern Chandra Levy was murdered. But investigators still do not know exactly how she died.

"The cause of death has been qualified as undetermined, the manner of death as homicide. ... She died through the actions of another person," Dr. Jonathan Arden said Tuesday morning.

Arden spoke to reporters about the young woman whose disappearance cost Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., his career and gripped the nation for the better part of a summer.

Levy's body was found last week in a remote area of Washington's Rock Creek Park, more than a year after she went missing. Arden said he couldn't determine whether Levy was killed in the park, or whether her remains were brought there.

"There's less to work with here than I would like," he said. "It's possible we will never know specifically how she died."

Hours after the medical examiner's announcement, more than 1,000 mourners joined Chandra's parents, Robert and Susan Levy, at a memorial in their hometown of Modesto, Calif.

A string quartet played and flowers decorated the stage at Modesto's convention center for the service. A poem that had been written by a well-wisher when police were still searching for Levy was included in a program featuring a picture of the 24-year-old smiling.

"From sunrise to sunset, as a family together we pray. Where is Chandra? Only God is to know. But as time goes on, our fears only grow," the poem, attributed to Penny Chiarizia of Woodbridge, Va., read.

Back in Washington, Police Chief Charles Ramsey said that the case is now a murder investigation.

He said it's too early to label anyone a suspect, but said police would talk to anyone they feel can shed new light on the case, including Condit.

Ramsey bristled when pressed about whether his department might have missed evidence that could have pushed the investigation further ahead.

"We're professionals here. We are one of the best police agencies in the world, and we will solve this case, I guarantee you that," he said.

Police are poring over what they know of Levy's final hours to try to solve the mystery of how she died. They have asked some of the people whose homes overlook the park whether they saw or heard anything nearly 13 months ago that could help the investigation.

Police know that Levy, 24, looked up Rock Creek Park's Klingle Mansion on a Web site, one of more than 30 such sites she visited on May 1, 2001, the last time she used her laptop computer.

What they don't know is whether she was meeting someone, or intending to go out for a walk or a run.

Along with Condit, police may also seek to re-interview Ingmar Guandique, who was convicted in February of assaulting two female joggers in the same park in the weeks after Levy disappeared.

The two women told police they were jogging when a man with a knife grabbed them. Guandique, 20, is serving a 10-year prison sentence.

According to a police source, Condit, 54 and married, has acknowledged an affair with Levy. But he has never wavered in denying any involvement in her disappearance. Police interviewed Condit four times and have never said that he is a suspect.

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