The federal intern who turned Washington upside down when she disappeared in 2001 will be the subject of an Atlanta college’s student project this year.
Some 50 students at Bauder College will reopen Levy’s case, which has remained unsolved and largely stagnant since her remains were found in Rock Creek Park in May 2002. Students will comb through reports of Levy’s disappearance, interview experts on the case’s facts and meet the intern’s mother in their pursuit of a solution to the mystery, said Sheryl McCollum, director of Bauder’s Cold Case Investigative Research Institute.
Levy’s disappearance became a national obsession as details of her time in Washington surfaced. The 24-year-old had just finished an internship at the Federal Bureau of Prisons when she went missing. She also had an affair with then-Rep. Gary Condit, a Democratic lawmaker 30 years Levy’s senior whose Modesto, Calif., district was her hometown. That, and suggestions that Condit was involved in her disappearance, led to his political demise. Condit went on to scoop ice cream as the owner of two Baskin Robbins franchises in Glendale, Ariz., but in March 2006 Baskin Robbins revoked the franchise agreement.
“All of it is a made-for-TV movie,” McCollum said. She said the college chose to focus on Levy’s case because some of the forensics, including how the intern’s remains were found and the information the bones provided, differ from cases students have studied before.
The students will also crack open the case on Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teen who went missing during a 2005 trip to Aruba, McCollum said. In the past, the students, whom McCollum noted don’t receive college credit for their cold-case work, have re-examined the death of rapper Tupac Shakur and the Atlanta Child Murders of the early 1980s.
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), a former Condit aide who replaced his boss after Levy went missing, supports the reopening of the case and “wishes it would be solved,” spokesman Jamie McInerney said.
The students plan to investigate the Levy case through December and will submit their analysis and any new information they unveil to the appropriate authorities, McCollum said.