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Dyed Cash Found Near Levy Site

by Allan Lengel, Washington Post

D.C. police searching unsuccessfully in Rock Creek Park over the weekend for more remains and belongings of Chandra Levy instead came across some money believed to be from a bank robbery in the District last week, authorities said.

The bills, discovered Saturday in the general vicinity of the search site, had red dye on them. Banks often give robbers money with dye packs, which explode and color the cash red.

Chris Murray, a spokesman for the FBI, said yesterday that the bills may have come from a robbery Wednesday of the Chevy Chase Bank in the 5700 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, near Chevy Chase Circle. Authorities said only a few bills were recovered.

"We have no idea how it ended up there," Murray said.

After a man and his dog discovered some of Levy's skeletal remains May 22, police initially searched an area in Rock Creek Park off Broad Branch Road, also in Upper Northwest, for a week. On May 30, police opened the crime area to the public.

But on Thursday, two private detectives working for the Levy family searched the area and came up with a 12- to 14-inch tibia, or shinbone, that Medical Examiner Jonathan L. Arden has said in all probability belonged to Levy. Police closed the area and announced that they would conduct another search.

At a loss to explain the finding, police officials said search teams simply missed the bone or an animal may have dragged it out of a burrow and left it there after the search teams left.

On Saturday, police got a call from a homeowner on Chesterfield Place NW who said that the family poodle had been playing for more than a month with some thick bones, one of which had a ball joint the size of a softball. The D.C. medical examiner's office determined that the bones were not human.

Yesterday, D.C. crime technicians, aided by a zoologist and cadaver dogs, continued to search the area around the remote thicket where Levy's remains were located. Sgt. Joe Gentile, a D.C. police spokesman, said searchers found what police think are animal bones but will turn them over to the medical examiner's office for further examination.

Police plan to resume the search today, aided by police recruits.

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