We rarely include stories on crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Most of the crimes are more than adequately covered by other blogs. However, this crime rocked the nation during the late spring and summer before 9/11. I chose to make an exception. At the heart of this story is the tale of diligent parents, incompetent police, a philandering congressman and ironically, a murdered intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in DC.
Almost 8 years later, an El Salvadorian man, Ingmar A. Guandique will be arrested for the murder of Chandra Levy. Guandique is already in the DC prison system for attacking 2 other joggers in the Rock Creek Park area where Chandra’s body was eventually found.
Who was Chandra Levy? The Chandra Levy case is a famous DC cold case that has gone unsolved since spring of 2001. This case not only has gone unsolved, to date, but was bungled about as badly as any case in DC. It also led to the defeat of US Congressman Gary Condit (D-CA).
Chandra Levy disappeared May 1, 200. Her parents who lived in Modesto, California spearheaded the efforts to search for their daughter when they called DC police saying they had not heard from their daughter in 6 days. The parents also informed DC police that their daughter was having an affair with the married congressman from California.
Congressman Condit became the center of media attention and was seen as uncooperative to the police. The DC police were seen as the Keystone cops by the media. It was the Levys who refused to accept excuses and stayed on the situation. Their tenacious efforts kept the case in the daily news until 9/11.
The remains of Chandra Levy were found by a man walking his dog and looking for turtles in a remote area near Rock Creek Parkway. The case has been listed as a cold case by DC and the FBI has stated that the case remains open.
Who is Guandique? According to the Washington Post, Who Killed Chandra Levy:The Predator in the Park (part 6 of a 12 part series, July 18, 2008):
Guandique (pronounced GWAN-dee-keh) had come from a hard-scrabble hamlet near the city of San Miguel in El Salvador. His father was kidnapped by guerrillas during the Salvadoran civil war, before Guandique’s birth in 1981, and later executed. The son grew up in an adobe house with a dirt floor, no running water and an open pit for cooking meals. The home was decorated with family photos and pictures of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary taped to pink and white sheets of plastic that served as wallpaper.
strong>Guandique wanted a better life in America. A friend of the family lent him $5,000 to pay a “coyote” to smuggle him across the Texas border with more than 50 others. The seventh-grade dropout left home in January 2000, eventually swimming across the Rio Grande, crossing the border near Piedras Negras and arriving in Houston in March 2000. From there, he made his way to Washington to join his half-brother, Huber, and other family friends.
Guanduique’s life in Washington was fraught with violence. He punched his girlfriend in the face on several occasions and finally her mother threw him out. He had trouble holding down a job. He was arrested by DC Police on what was probably breaking and entering. He was finally arrested by US Park Police for 2 other attacks along Rock Creek Parkway and has been in prison for the attacks. He has been considered a person of interest in the Levy case for quite some time.
US Park Police apprehended and prosecuted Guandique for his attacks on the women joggers that sent him to prison. Somehow, the territorial nature of law enforcement in the DC area must have prevented exchange of information or cooperation between agencies. An inmate serving time with Guandique told investigators that Guandique had confessed to murdering Chandra Levy to him, even though he denied he knew her to Park police. He did admit to seeing her jogging and that she was attractive.
So 8 years later, a mystery has finally been solved. Had it not been for the diligence of Chandra’s parents, this case might have never been solved. Congressman Conduit’s political career was over. He faded from the news.
A warrant will be served in the very near future. And now Guandique will come to the forefront because of his illegal status, not because he robbed, stole, beat his little girlfriend, attacked 2 women joggers, murdered an intern, and ultimately caused the end of a political career. No, Guandique will be discussed and remembered for being an ‘illegal.’
Somehow, status seems immaterial and irrelevant at this point.