In Spring 2001, the mysterious disappearance of Chandra Levy rocked the nation.
In a case that could have been likened to a plot of a thriller, the 24-year-old master’s student vanished without a trace on May 1, raising a mixture of publicity and fear throughout the country.
A year before her disappearance, Chandra had moved to Washington D.C. to intern with the Bureau of Prisons for her master’s program at the University of Southern California. She was studying public administration in hopes of one day working for the FBI.
“She managed to be working for the state here [in California] at the governor’s office, and also the mayor of Los Angeles,” Chandra’s mother, Susan Levy told 20/20’s Deborah Roberts. “She had these high political internships. … She was an honor student, had good grades … maybe a student aggressive enough to go after these really good positions.”
On May 6, Levy’s parents alerted authorities they had not heard from their daughter in the past five days. With no initial indication of foul play, it came as a shock when Chandra’s father, Robert Levy, revealed she was having an affair with an older, married U.S. congressman, who he believed to be U.S. Representative Gary Condit.
Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent who was the lead investigator in the case, said the couple became involved after Chandra and a friend visited his office and he gave them a tour of the Capitol.
After the pair began their affair, Garrett said Chandra “led a very insulated life once she started this relationship with Gary, because the only time[s] she'd really see him were after hours. Her life basically going to [work], back home and then to Gary's house.”