As federal prosecutors announce they have charged an illegal immigrant from El Salvador with first-degree murder in the death of Chandra Levy, the ENQUIRER exclusively reveals the doomed intern’s valiant struggle as she fought ferociously for her life!

 The ENQUIRER interviewed those involved in the case who revealed the shocking details of what happened during Chandra’s final horrifying moments alive. They disclose that the pretty government intern fought back so fiercely that she severely hurt her knife-wielding attacker. Before she died, courageous Chandra battered her assailant’s face, leaving him with bad bruises, a fat lip, scratched throat and bloodshot eye.

And it is those injuries – observed by witnesses following the attack – that will finally help convict 27-year-old Salvadoran carpenter Ingmar Guandique.

"Detectives are confident Guandique is the guy – there is new forensic evidence that directly links him to Chandra’s murder," former Washington, D.C., homicide detective Rod Wheeler, who consulted on the case, told The ENQUIRER before the arrest warrant was issued today.

The 24-year-old woman disappeared May 1, 2001 but a year passed before skeletal remains were found near a remote trail in the Capital’s Rock Creek Park. Police were unable to crack the mystery but a detective team set up last year dedicated themselves to solving the case.  The key evidence pointed to illegal alien Guandique, already serving a 10-year sentence for brutal knife attacks on two women in the same park.

Detectives discovered that on the day Chandra vanished, Guandique didn’t show up for work.

Investigators also talked to Guandique’s former landlady, who told them that around the time Chandra disappeared he came home looking like he’d been in a fight – with scratches on his throat, a bloodshot eye, a swollen lip and facial bruises.

Then some of Guandique’s clothing, left behind when he went to prison, was recovered and submitted for DNA testing. The detectives interviewed two other women who’d been attacked by Guandique. Amazingly, they had not been grilled by previous investigators.

On May 14, 2001 – two weeks after Chandra’s disappearance – Halle Shilling, 30, was running in Rock Creek Park when a man grabbed her around the throat. She screamed, and the knife-wielding thug, whom she later identified as Guandique, fled. Seven weeks later, 25-year-old Christy Wiegand was attacked by Guandique in the park but escaped.

Guandique pleaded guilty to both attacks and was sentenced to 10 years.

Investigators believe Guandique attacked Chandra in a similar manner – sneaking up on her from behind, grabbing her around the throat and attempting to subdue her with the knife. But Chandra’s killer may have underestimated her strength as she punched him and clawed his face in a desperate struggle to free herself.

Shilling was finally contacted by detectives this past December and agreed to testify before a grand jury.

"They are not going to sleep… until they get a conviction," she told The ENQUIRER.