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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Levy Family Attorney Issues Statement

Aired May 22, 2002 - 18:05   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Here comes George Arata, the attorney representing the Levy family.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE ARATA, LEVY FAMILY ATTORNEY: OK, you guys ready? I think it's coming from right there. Is it better now?

The Levys first heard the announcement by way of the news. We then talked to Chief Ramsey, who confirmed that the remains were that of Chandra Levy. At this stage, the family's not prepared yet to give a formal statement to you. But at 7:30 Eastern time, 4:30 our time, there will be a statement made by Mr. Martin as well as myself from the family. And I would appreciate it if you all could wait until then for any questions and hopefully we can answer them for you at that time.

QUESTION: Did you say by Mr. Martin and the parents?

ARATA: No. Mr. Martin and myself. There will be a joint statement. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks a lot.

BLITZER: George Arata, attorney representing the Levy family, making a brief statement saying that at 7:30, about a little less than an hour and a half from now, he and Billy Martin, another attorney representing the Levy family, Billy Martin, a Washington attorney, will be making a formal statement.

The family heard about it through the news media, later got a phone call from the D.C. police chief, Charles Ramsey. He is still speaking to reporters out in Rock Creek Park.

Actually, let's go to Bob Franken first before we go to Chief Ramsey. Chief Ramsey is still speaking, Bob. But from what you heard, this investigation now goes from a missing person investigation to a death investigation. And clearly, Chief Ramsey leaving open the possibility that it's going to be a homicide investigation as well.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as a matter of fact, the chief said it pretty clearly himself, quoting, "the investigation into the manner and cause of death is still pending," which means of course that they're going to be investigating to see how she could have died with a little, little possibility that it's going to be anything besides a homicide. And we can of course now know what the forensic people will be looking at, to look for some sort of damage to the skeleton which will give them some clues.

Now this is the day that Chandra Levy's parents hoped would never come. They had always held out the hope that there was some other explanation for the disappearance of their daughter. But, of course, Wolf, as you know, I spent quite a bit of time with them. It was the day that they feared would someday come. And, of course, it happened today. It was a day that began with one more lead of the thousands that have been spotted in the investigation that had gone on for something over a year. This one was one that interested police for the reasons we've heard over and over again. And, of course, the word quickly spread that there was a good possibility that this would turn out to be the remains of Chandra Levy. And as we've sadly heard, that is in fact the case. But now that the question is then answered, what happened to Chandra Levy, it raises more questions, how did it happen? Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Bob, stand by.

I want to bring back Don Vance. He's on the phone, a Levy family friend and attorney out in Modesto, California. Don, give us your impressions, your reaction, to what you just heard, the formal announcement from the D.C. police chief, Charles Ramsey, confirming that the skeletal remains discovered earlier today in Rock Creek Park are in fact those of Chandra Levy?

DONALD VANCE, LEVY FAMILY FRIEND: Well, for any family and friends, as we are of course, it's a day of grieving. That's all that one can say. It's difficult to intellectualize or prognosticate or even think, you know, when something like this is coming (ph) for you, shock sets in, to protect the human soul, perhaps, from being ravaged. But that's probably the reaction you're going to get from people who are affected pretty deeply by the death.

BLITZER: And we'll be waiting for that statement from the Levy family that will be coming up at 7:30 Eastern time, 4:30 on the West Coast, a statement from the attorneys representing the Levy family, George Arata in California and Billy Martin here in Washington. Don Vance, thanks so much for joining us.

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