Levy's parents mark anniversary of disappearance with Washington candlelight vigil

Thursday, May 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Chandra Levy's parents are in Washington to mark the anniversary of her disappearance and to keep the baffling case in the public's eye.

They desperately want to know what happened to Levy, a former U.S. Bureau of Prisons intern who vanished in Washington a year ago Wednesday. They believe that continued public awareness of the investigation offers the best chance for an end to the ordeal.

``I want somebody to come up with the courage to tell us where she is,'' Levy's mother, Susan, said.

The Levys, of Modesto, Calif., are expected to meet with Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsey on Thursday. They have given a round of nationally televised interviews and held a candlelight vigil outside their daughter's apartment building Wednesday.

The brief vigil, hampered by gusty winds, attracted neighborhood residents, passers-by and members of the Guardian Angels private safety patrol.

``Not knowing. It's such a horrible thing for her family and friends,'' Nancy D'Ambrosia, an area resident, said. ``I think the not knowing makes it worse.''

Police have no idea what happened to Levy, who was 24 when she disappeared. She was last seen on April 30, canceling her membership at an area gym. Police believe she vanished on May 1, sometime after spending several hours surfing the Internet on the laptop computer in her apartment.

Her case drew national attention when the name of Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., who represents Modesto, surfaced in the investigation. Condit, 54 and married, reportedly told police he and Levy were romantically involved, but acknowledged only a close relationship in his public comments.

Condit has denied any involvement in Levy's disappearance and police have consistently said he is not a suspect in what officially remains a missing person's investigation. The Levys believe Condit has not revealed all he knows about the case, but they have stopped short of accusing him of complicity in the disappearance.

``If he's able to help, we wish he would,'' Levy's father, Robert, said.

Paul Katz, Susan Levy's brother, was more emphatic when asked about Condit. ``If she'd never met the man, she'd probably still be here today,'' Katz said.