FBI discounts anonymous tip that former intern Chandra Levy buried near Fort Lee, Virginia

Thursday, August 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The FBI on Thursday discounted an anonymous tip to an Internet site alleging that Chandra Levy's body was buried under a parking lot near a Virginia military base 130 miles south of Washington.

The FBI investigated the tip that alleged the missing intern was buried near Fort Lee, an Army training base south of Richmond, said Mary Johlie, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond.

``The FBI, in concert with Fort Lee officials, have determined that there is no site on or around the Fort Lee military base that corresponds with information provided in the anonymous tip,'' Johlie said in a statement.

Police who have investigated Levy's disappearance in Washington had asked authorities at Fort Lee to search the site, but the FBI announced late Wednesday there no search would be conducted until the tip was investigated.

Police said the tip, which came from a California crime tip Web site, was just one of hundreds of leads being pursued since Levy disappeared three months ago.

Terrance Gainer, Washington's No. 2 police official, said police requested the search after some information in the tip about the purported location of Levy's body _ a parking lot _ and a description of construction in the area checked out.

``We called down there and confirmed obviously that there's a Fort Lee, Va., that there's construction and there's a parking lot,'' Gainer said.

``This is a little better than a tip like, 'I had vision last night she is in dark water,''' he said. ``There is more specificity. And it is geographically accurate. But that is not necessarily unusual.''

Fort Lee is a 5,000-acre Army training base about 30 miles south of Richmond.

Levy, 24, of Modesto, Calif., came to Washington last year for an internship at the federal Bureau of Prisons and was last seen April 30.

Police have interviewed Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., four times. Condit, who is married, acknowledged in his third police interview that he had an affair with Levy, according to a police source. Police say he is not a suspect in her disappearance.

Washington police Sgt. Joe Gentile said WeTip, a California organization that accepts crime tips and passes them on to authorities, faxed the anonymous tip Tuesday night.