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Levy Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas

Inquiry: Friends of man who is key target are called. One had told of his facial bruises, cut lip.

October 04, 2002|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — A grand jury has subpoenaed friends of a man who is now the focus of the Chandra Levy investigation, among them an apartment manager who has told the Washington Post that the man had facial scratches and a cut, swollen lip around the time the former federal intern disappeared.

Sheila Cruz, the manager of a building where Ingmar Guandique lived, said she can place the time she saw the facial abrasions as late April or early May because it was shortly before Guandique, then 19, was arrested May 7, 2001, for breaking into an apartment in the complex.

Levy, whose remains were found in Rock Creek Park this spring, disappeared May 1, 2001.

Guandique blamed his wounds on his girlfriend, saying she had hit him, Cruz said. But the former girlfriend, in an interview, denied causing the injuries to his face. She said she never saw the scratches and swollen lip. She described a relationship that was sporadic.

Cruz was subpoenaed late Wednesday, just hours after she was interviewed by the Post. Her boyfriend, one of Guandique's friends, also was subpoenaed.

Guandique's former girlfriend, Iris Portillo, and her mother said in an interview that they were called to the U.S. attorney's office last month. Portillo, 20, said she took detectives to a spot in Rock Creek Park where she had gone with Guandique, less than a mile from where Levy's remains were found. She said investigators took a gold bracelet, which she said was a gift from Guandique in early 2001, and a necklace.

It is unclear what jewelry Levy was wearing when she was slain. Law enforcement sources have said that a gold bracelet and a gold ring were missing from her belongings.

Cruz said that until this week she had not been contacted by Washington, D.C., police during the 17-month probe. She is one of several Guandique friends or relatives who have been subpoenaed in recent weeks as investigators focus on the Salvadoran immigrant convicted in September 2001 of assaulting two women jogging in Rock Creek Park, not far from where Levy's remains were found. The attacks occurred May 14, 2001, two weeks after Levy disappeared, and July 1, 2001.

The flurry of subpoenas and the grand jury's interest in Guandique mark a significant change in the Levy investigation, which had focused on Rep. Gary A. Condit (D-Ceres), with whom Levy allegedly was having an affair when she vanished.

Detectives have no evidence linking Guandique or any other suspect to Levy's death. Police have sent the clothes Guandique was wearing when he was arrested July 1, 2001, for the park assaults to the FBI lab for DNA tests.

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