WASHINGTON, July 29, 2016 — The U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington D.C. announced that it has dropped all charges related to the murder of Chandra Levy against Ingmar Guandique. Guandique is set to be released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Investigators discovered that Guandique was in the country illegally at the time the murder took place.
Guandique faced a 60-year sentence before it was vacated because of the sudden discovery of new evidence by the defense. He was slated to receive a new trial this fall, but the U.S. Attorney’s office decided to drop all charges because of “unforeseen circumstances.”
Before her 2001 death, Levy was interning with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Her remains were discovered at Rock Creek Park in Washington. During the course of the investigation, authorities discovered that she was in a relationship with former California congressman Gary Condit. Condit never faced charges in relation to Levy’s disappearance.
— @tompetty?Ⓥ (@dannalynette) July 28, 2016
The prosecutors struggled to back the charges because of a lack of forensic evidence and no eyewitnesses. The majority of the case rested on the testimony of Guandique’s cellmate.
His cellmate claimed that Guandique took Levy’s purse and ran.
Guandique became the prime suspect after he attacked two women in Rock Creek Park in similar fashion. It was later discovered that in previous trials, the cellmate committed perjury.
Gary Condit’s lawyers released a statement saying they were disappointed by the judge and prosecutor’s decisions.
“The failure of authorities to bring formal closure to this tragedy after 15 years is very disappointing but in no way alters the fact that Mr. Condit was long ago completely exonerated by authorities in connection with Ms. Levy’s death.”
ICE issued a statement confirming that Guandique will remain in their custody based on his criminal record.
“Based on today’s court action, Ingmar Guandique will enter the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and be issued a notice to appear in immigration court. Due to his previous criminal convictions, he is considered a threat to public safety, and ICE intends to maintain him in custody.”