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Wednesday, 11 July, 2001, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Chandra Levy: Accusation and denial
Gary Condit
Gary Condit initially denied any romantic involvement
Although police are still treating the disappearance of Chandra Levy as a case of a missing person, clouds of suspicion have built up around Gary Condit after weeks of allegation and denial.

At first, the married congressman's staff said he had merely been friends with the 24-year old intern, who was working as a trainee with the Federal Prisons Bureau.

Weeks of uncertainty
30 April: Chandra Levy last seen
15 May: Gary Condit interviewed by police
20 June: Second police interview
21 June: Condit meets Ms Levy's parents
6 July: Third interview; Condit admits having an affair
In a telephone conversation with Ms Levy's mother in early June, Mr Condit reportedly flatly denied having an affair with her daughter.

However, Ms Levy apparently disclosed to friends in emails that she was romantically involved with an undisclosed politician.

It was not until Ms Levy's aunt and close confidante, Linda Zamsky, came forward saying her niece had had an "intense and secretive" relationship with Mr Condit, that the Congressman finally admitted to the affair.

Key admission

Ten days after her disappearance on 30 April, Mr Condit said he had requested FBI involvement in the case and donated $10,000 to a reward fund.

Chandra Levy
Despite huge publicity Ms Levy's whereabouts are unknown

At the time, Mr Condit declined to "speculate on a matter that is under police investigation". He added: "All of us should focus our efforts on getting her home."

On 15 May, police confirmed they had interviewed Mr Condit as part of their investigation. He was questioned again on 20 June.

A month later, after meeting Ms Levy's parents, Mr Condit said he would provide any information he could "without hesitation".

However, the key admission - that he was romantically involved with Ms Levy - did not come until 6 July after Ms Zamsky's disclosure, and a third police interview.

Police say Mr Condit is not a suspect. The congressman has defended his course of action, saying he was trying to avoid hurting his family.

Last sighting

Chandra Levy was last seen alive on 30 April when she cancelled her membership of a health club. Her parents, however, reportedly received an email from her posted at 1045 on 1 May.

Chandra Levy's parents
Ms Levy's parents believed their daughter was returning home
She apparently told her family she would return to California after her job in Washington ended.

The day before she vanished, she left a message on Ms Zamsky's answering machine saying she had "some really big news or something important to tell".

Ms Zamsky said her niece did not sound upset. Mr Condit told police he had also spoken to Ms Levy on that day, but details of their conversation have not been disclosed.

Investigators found no indication in Ms Levy's flat that she intended to run away. Only her keys and a cheque for $54 (38) were missing.

Police say they are now satisfied that Mr Condit has given a full account of his relationship with Ms Levy.

But over two months after her disappearance, they are apparently no closer to establishing whether she has been kidnapped, killed, gone into hiding or committed suicide.

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See also:

09 Jul 01 | Americas
Intern's parents 'doubt congressman'
22 Jun 01 | Americas
Missing intern link to congressman
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