Real Name: Joyce Chiang and Chandra Levy
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Washington D.C.
Date: (Chiang) January 9, 1999, (Levy) May 1, 2001
Details: Chandra Levy was a government worker who mysteriously disappeared on her way to work on May 1, 2001. Chandra's remains were later found and she was determined to have been murdered. Her case received national attention after Chandra was believed to have had an affair with U.S. Representative Gary Condit, and suspicion was made that Chandra was murdered in order to keep the affair a secret. Chandra's mysterious disappearance and death still has not been solved, but few people know that she was not the first government intern to vanish.
Two years earlier, Joyce Chiang, an attorney at the INS, this time of Taiwanese descent, also vanished and was later found dead. Although there was no romantic scandal or national media coverage, the similarities between the two cases are striking. Both women lived in the same neighborhood, shared similar physical characteristics, and were young, attractive, petite, brunette women. However, authorities believed that the similarities were just coincidence, and suggested that Joyce may have even committed suicide, but her family believes otherwise.
Joyce was the only daughter in a closely-knit Taiwanese-American family, and while in college she served an internship for representative Howard Berman of California, and following that she took a job as a lawyer for the INS. She lived with her brother at the Dupont Circle area of Washington D.C., the same area where Chandra would move two years later. A favorite hangout for both women was a nearby Starbucks coffee shop, and it was there on the night of January 9, 1999, that Joyce mysteriously vanished.
Earlier that evening, Joyce had met up with friends to go see a movie and dinner, and her friend offered to take her home, but Joyce wanted her to take a quick stop at the Starbucks. Joyce left her friend, planning to walk the four blocks home, but never arrived at her apartment. Because Joyce was a federal employee, the FBI handled the case, but their initial investigation turned up no leads. Three days after Joyce vanished, a bizarre message was found on a wall near the coffee shop where she vanished, that read "Good Day J.C. may I never miss the thrill of being near you", and authorities believed that whoever was responsible for her disappearance may have written the message. Then, a couple came forward, claiming that the day after Joyce vanished, they found while walking through Anticosta Park a billfold with Joyce's government credit card and they turned it into the park police that day. However, it remained in the lost & found for four days before the couple saw Joyce's picture on the news and contacted the FBI. Search parties soon went through the area where her billfold had been found, and several new items of Joyce's turned up, including her apartment keys, a video rental and grocery store card, her gloves, and jacket that Joyce was wearing when she vanished, and there was a rip that went through the back of the jacket. Three months later, a canoeist paddling eight miles downstream from where her personal effects were found discovered her body on the shore. Three months in the water had caused severe damage to her remains and it took DNA testing to identify the remains as Joyce's. Due to the decomposition, police were unable to determine the cause of death. Investigators found no evidence of foul play, and decided to label the case as unresolved, but closed, and some suggested that she had committed suicide.
However, her family and friends believed that she was murdered and there was no way she would kill herself. In May of 2001, when Chandra Levy vanished, there was renewed interested in Joyce's case, and the similarities between the two cases were shocking. The authorities are trying to find out of the cases could be connected by the same killer and if there could be others. One of the possible other cases connected was that of twenty-eight-year-old Christine Mirzayan, who mysteriously disappeared five months before Joyce after leaving a barbecue and was found raped and murdered soon after. All three women lived in the same area, all were about the same height and had brown hair, and all were interns at some point in their lives. However, despite intense investigations, the cases remain unsolved.
Suspects: Chandra's disappearance was also connected to U.S. Representative Gary Condit , an allegation both Condit and his supporters vehemently denied.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the June 10, 2002 episode. The possible connection between the two cases was also explored on Haunting Evidence. Chandra's disappearance was also covered on America’s Most Wanted and on Court TV.
Results: Unresolved. In 2008, an illegal immigrant named Ingmar A. Guandique was charged with the murder of Chandra Levy. Guandique had been convicted of the assaults of two women in Rock Creek Park in an area close to where Chandra's remains were found. Guandique was connected to the case after a jail informant came forward, claiming that Guandique had confessed to killing Chandra. In 2010, Guandique was found guilty in the murder of Chandra Levy and was later sentenced to 60 years in prison. However, in 2015, his conviction was overturned after his defense attorneys found evidence that the jail informant was lying. In July 2016, it was announced that prosecutors would not re-try Guandique for Chandra's murder after a woman came forward with an audiotape; on the tape, the jail informant told the woman that he had lied about Guandique's confession. Guandique will soon be turned over to ICE and will most likely be deported in the near future.
In January 2011, police said they have identified two suspects in Joyce Chiang's death. The police believe that the two men were planning on abducting and robbing her. They believe she tried to escape from the two men, fell or was pushed into the icy Potomac River and drowned. One of the men is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated crime, and the other is in the country of Guyana, which has no extradition treaty with the United States. In May 2011, the case of Joyce Chiang was officially closed by DC police and changed from "suicide" to "homicide," but the men have never been charged with Joyce's murder.
The murder of Christine Mirzayan remains unsolved, although her murder has been connected through DNA to eight rapes in the local area from 1991 to 1998, committed by the unknown "Potomac River Rapist."
- Joyce's Case on Unsolved.com
- Chandra's case on Wikipedia
- Joyce's case on Wikipedia
- Gruesome, Unsolved Murders Haunt Levy Investigation