WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia Chief Medical Examiner Jonathan Arden said he believes that Chandra Levy might have been strangled, although he does not have conclusive evidence to rule that as the cause of death.
The Modesto woman's skeletal remains, discovered May 22 in Rock Creek Park, showed damage to her hyoid, a small U-shaped bone in the upper neck, but it was not broken, Arden said.
"A young person could be strangled and not have it show on the bones," said Arden, who previously ruled Levy's death a homicide but said the cause was undetermined.
So far, results from FBI tests done on evidence found in Rock Creek Park have produced no clues to help solve her slaying, law enforcement sources said.
But investigators are focusing on the park, collecting names of people who worked there or who frequently visited its nature center or horse stables, public attractions that are less than a half-mile from where Levy's remains were found.
Law enforcement authorities also are reviewing arrests for crimes, including sexual offenses, in or near the park.
In addition, investigators are looking into who received traffic tickets in that area on May 1, 2001, the day that the 24-year-old Levy disappeared.
"You now have a crime scene," said a law enforcement source close to the investigation. "You now have to investigate everything around the crime scene. Who was in the park that day?"
After nearly 15 months and despite the discovery of Levy's remains, the probe has produced no evidence pointing to a suspect.
And the case has taken on a much lower profile, a sharp contrast to last summer, when authorities repeatedly questioned Rep. Gary Condit, D-Ceres, and police officials often appeared on national television to discuss the investigation.
Condit, now 54, has not denied multiple news reports that he told police, in his third interview, that he and Levy had been having an affair.
Police interviewed him a total of four times, talked to his wife and staff members, searched the Adams Morgan apartment where he lived, took DNA samples from him, and subpoenaed his bank, credit card and phone records.
Investigators have not interviewed Condit since Levy's remains were found in a hilly, heavily wooded area in Rock Creek Park. But that does not mean that Condit or anyone else has been ruled out of the investigation, law enforcement officials say.
"We have not excluded anyone," Police Chief Charles Ramsey said recently.
Detectives and FBI agents are probing multiple theories, according to law enforcement sources, including that Levy took a walk in the park and was attacked by a stranger, or that she was killed after she met or walked with someone in the park.
Early in the investigation, police reported that Levy, at 1 p.m. on the day that she disappeared, used her computer to look up Klingle Mansion, which is in the park.
Now, police officials say Levy actually looked up Rock Creek Park on her computer, and that a reference to the mansion or the mansion's address appeared on the park's home page.
Levy's skull and bones were found on a steep incline off the Western Ridge trail, one of the park's principal hiking paths, which is about three-tenths of a mile from the Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium and the stables. The site has ridges, gullies and dense underbrush. Fallen trees, low branches and shrubbery make the footing difficult.
It is unclear, however, why Levy would have been walking on the trail, four miles from her Dupont Circle apartment. Friends and relatives say she was not a jogger, was not familiar with Rock Creek Park and had expressed safety concerns about being in the park alone.
Dwight Madison, supervisory ranger for the National Park Service, which runs the park, said police have interviewed him, asking what route Levy would have taken if she had walked or jogged from Klingle Mansion to where her remains were found.
Investigators are looking at known sexual predators in the area.
One man police know about is Ingmar Guandique, 20, who was convicted in February of attacking two women last year in the park, not far from where Levy's remains were found.
One assault occurred May 14, 2001, and another July 1, 2001. Brandishing a knife, Guandique ran behind the women and grabbed them, according to court records. They fought back and escaped. He is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence in Winton, N.C.
Police have strongly discounted Guandique as a suspect. They note that both women he attacked were tall, blond and athletic-looking, in contrast with Levy, who was petite and had dark hair. Police have not interviewed Guandique since Levy's remains were found, the sources said.
"It's a tough case," Ramsey said. "Right now, we are going over interviews and talking to people who frequent the park or live near the park. I believe there is someone out there who heard or saw something."