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PARENTS of missing woman, Rep. Condit meet

Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The distraught parents of a young California woman missing for seven weeks got their first meeting with Rep. Gary Condit, who has had little to say publicly about his friendship with her.

Dr. Robert and Susan Levy of Modesto, Calif., were hoping that Condit had information that he has not yet shared with police about Chandra Levy, a former federal intern in Washington, who was last seen April 30 at a Washington health club.

The participants released no details from the meeting Thursday night, held in an undisclosed location in the Washington area.

Condit, who police say is not a suspect in Levy's disappearance, has described her as a ``good friend.'' Mrs. Levy has said her 24-year-old daughter told her she was seeing Condit, who is married.

In nationally televised interviews last week, she called on the California Democrat, who also is her congressman, to come forward with everything he knows about her daughter.

Condit telephoned the Levys at home Saturday, but Mrs. Levy declined to talk to him. Billy Martin, the Levys' attorney, said he advised his clients not to discuss the case without a lawyer present.

Despite Mrs. Levy's statement last week, Martin would not describe the nature of the relationship when he and his clients appeared before reporters Thursday.

``We hope that during the investigation we can really find out the depth of that relationship, what it was,'' Martin said as the parents, wiping tears from their eyes, stood by.

Police also are trying to arrange an interview with Condit, who has met with authorities once. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said Thursday that Condit, like other people who know Levy, could have ``some insight or information that could lead us to find her.''

Condit, who has contributed $10,000 from his campaign funds to a reward to help find the missing woman, issued a short statement late Thursday after Martin and the Levys met with Ramsey.

``Anyone who saw Dr. and Mrs. Levy today at their press conference cannot help but feel their deep concern and worry,'' Condit said. ``If there is any new information I can provide, I will do so without hesitation.''

Mike Lynch, Condit's chief of staff in Modesto, said Condit wants to talk to police again and is trying to work out a time.

Ramsey offered a bleak assessment of the search for Levy, who disappeared a few days after competing an internship with the federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington. ``Unfortunately, there's really nothing new that leads us any closer to finding her,'' he said.

Martin said the parents do not believe their daughter ``just walked away'' and would like police to upgrade their investigation ``to something beyond a missing person investigation.''

But after meeting with Martin and the Levys on Thursday, Ramsey declined to change the status of the case.

Martin said two former Washington homicide detectives who now work for his law firm would help conduct an investigation separate from that of the police.

Mrs. Levy said she just wants her daughter back.

``We are very heartbroken that we do not know where our daughter is,'' she said outside police headquarters. ``We continue to believe she will come back alive.''
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