(Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2001)
WASHINGTON -- Police Chief Charles Ramsey criticized Rep. Gary Condit on Tuesday for not immediately revealing all he knew about the missing Chandra Levy, saying it slowed investigators.
Ramsey also said police are no closer to solving the case.
"It would have been helpful to know what type of situation we were dealing with earlier in the case," Ramsey said during an interview with radio station WTOP in Washington.
"The sooner we know crucial details, the better chance we have of solving a case, while the trail is still warm. We didn't have all of the details for several weeks."
Levy, a 24-year-old from Modesto, vanished sometime after logging off her computer May 1, a week after completing an internship with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. She was planning a return to California.
Levy met Condit, her 53-year-old, married congressman, last fall and began an affair with him, family members have said. Condit confirmed the affair to investigators, but not until a third interview, according to multiple news reports citing law enforcement officials.
Police have said repeatedly that Condit is not a suspect. Ramsey said police still have no cause to upgrade the investigation to a criminal case.
"We are still not taking off the table that she could have left of her own will," Ramsey said. "People have been known to just take off from time to time. We also are not taking suicide off of the table, although we suspect if there had been a suicide we would have found the body by now."
Condit has not commented publicly on his relationship with Levy. He released a statement shortly after she disappeared, calling her "a great person and a good friend."
A caller to the radio station asked Ramsey if police have asked Condit to refrain from commenting publicly. He said they had not.
Condit flew into San Francisco International Airport on Friday, as the congressional recess began, and has not been seen in public since.