SEARCH

Entries in Michelle Le (6)

Tuesday
Sep202011

Missing California Student Michelle Le's Body Identified

MichelleLeMissing [dot] com(HAYWARD, Calif.) -- The body discovered in Niles Canyon earlier this week has been confirmed to be that of missing California nursing student Michelle Le, according to the Hayward Police Department.

Although the remains discovered have been confirmed to belong to Le, the cause of the woman's death is still undetermined by the Alameda County Coroner, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Le's remains were found in the same area where police believe the woman charged with Le's murder dumped her body.

John Hayes, a volunteer in the search for Le, discovered the remains in a remote, brushy area of Alameda County on Sunday, but investigators originally said it could take weeks to determine whether they were of the young woman.

On Monday, Giselle Esteban, who is suspected of Le's murder, made her second court appearance and was charged with murdering Le.  Esteban was appointed an attorney, who asked for time to review the case.

"All I can say at this point is that I've just met Ms. Esteban and so I really don't have anything substantive to say at this point," defense attorney Andrea Auer said.

Esteban, 27, and currently pregnant with her second child, told ABC News' San Francisco affiliate KGO-TV in June that she "hates" Le because Le was friends with the father of Esteban's 5-year-old daughter.  Esteban has denied having anything to do with Le's disappearance.

Police, however, have said that evidence, including cellphone records, indicate that Esteban was in the same wooded area as Le when she vanished.

Le, 26, went missing May 27, when she took a break from her nursing classes at a Hayward hospital.  She told colleagues she was going to her car, but she never returned from the break and her locked Honda SUV was found later half a mile away.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep182011

Remains Found During Search for Missing Nursing Student

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif.) -- A volunteer in the search for missing California nursing student Michelle Le discovered a body in a remote, brushy area of Alameda County, but investigators said it could take weeks to determine whether they are the young woman.

The remains were so decomposed that investigators could not immediately say whether they were those of a male or female. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the remains were found in the same area where police believe the woman charged with Le's murder dumped her body.

Alameda County investigators have sealed off access to the scene, but say it could take weeks to identify the remains if they have to use DNA testing. Officials said they haven't found any articles of clothing or other evidence that ties the body discovered to Le.

"Today, one of the search party members did discover remains. Right now, that's all we know," said Lt. Roger Keener with the Hayward Police Department, according to ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco. "There is nothing that indicates gender with the remains. The body is decomposed."

Le, 26, went missing May 27, when she took a break from her nursing classes at a Hayward hospital. She told colleagues she was going to her car, but she never returned from the break and her locked Honda SUV was found later half a mile away.

A former high school friend of Le's, Giselle Esteban, 27, was arrested 11 days ago ago in connection with Le's disappearance. Investigators say surveillance video, cell phone records and DNA samples led to Esteban's arrest.

In June, Esteban told KGO that she "hates" Le because Le was friends with the father of Esteban's 5-year-old daughter. Esteban has denied having anything to do with Le's disappearance.

Even without Le's body, investigators said they have enough to charge Esteban with murdering the nursing student. Surveillance video shows her at the crime scene before and after Le went missing, traces of Le's blood were found inside Esteban's car and Le's DNA was found on one of Esteban's shoes, Hayward police said.

Cell phone records also show both women's phones "traveled on a similar path" from the hospital around Alameda County immediately after Le disappeared.

Esteban is due back in court Monday, after a judge postponed a plea hearing last week so she could get an attorney.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Jul012011

Police Deny Calls Made from Missing Nursing Student's Phone

Hayward Police Dept.(HAYWARD, Calif.) -- Police and an investigator for the family of missing California nursing student Michelle Le on Thursday denied a report that calls were made from Le's cellphone following her disappearance in late May.

Le, 26, vanished on her way to the garage at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward in Northern California.  She was studying at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, combining academic work with clinical training.

A source told ABC News affiliate KGTV in San Diego that several calls were made from Le's cell after her disappearance.  One was made to a phone in Reno and one to somewhere in Arizona, the source said.

But Roger Keener of the Hayward Police Department said in an email that police "are not aware of any phone calls made from Michelle's phone after her disappearance."

Michael Frame, hired by the Le family as a private investigator on the case, called the report "erroneous."

A family member, Krystine Dinh, said in a statement that Michelle's brother Michael did receive a call from a woman in Arizona that he passed on to police, but he did not say that the call "had any significance."

Hayward police declared the case a homicide on June 6, citing "compelling evidence."  Le's SUV, found less than a mile from the hospital, had a smattering of blood inside, according to KGTV.

But Frame said the family, which is offering a $65,000 reward for any information, refuses to give up hope.

"They found Jaycee Dugard 18 years later," he said.

Michelle might have had a wound that bled, he pointed out, but could still be alive.

Police have said they have several persons of interest in the case, including Giselle Esteban, who was involved in a dispute with Le over a boyfriend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun062011

Missing Nursing Student Michelle Le Case Now Considered Homicide

Comstock/Thinkstock(HAYWARD, Calif.) -- The search for Michelle Le, a California nursing student who has been missing for 10 days, is now a murder investigation, police said Monday.

"Compelling evidence" found in the investigation led police to reclassify the case as a homicide, the Hayward, Calif., Police Department said in a statement released Monday evening.

"We realize this is the worst possible news for Michelle's family and friends, and for everyone involved in looking for her," the statement said. "Despite everyone's hopes, our effort to find Michelle is officially an effort of recovery. Our investigators met with the family this evening to inform them of these latest developments."

Le, 26, vanished on May 27 on her way to the garage at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward in northern California. She is a student at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, where she was pursuing an accelerated bachelor's degree combining academic work with clinical training.

Le's locked Honda was found a few blocks away from the garage early Saturday, May 28. Calls to her cellphone have gone unanswered, and she has made no calls since early May 28.

She had been planning to drive to Reno the night of May 27 to visit friends, according to news reports.

Hayward cops served a warrant over the Memorial Day weekend at the home of the former friend, whose name has not been released, and seized her computer and cellphone.

"We ultimately released her and she remains, as do a couple of others, as a person of interest," Lt. Roger Keener of the Hayward Police Department said last week.

Le's father has traveled from Vietnam to the Bay area and met with police Tuesday along with Le's brother, Michael, and her aunt, who lives in San Diego. Le's mother died about 10 years ago, police said.

The family initially funded a $20,000 reward for information leading to her safe return, which has since grown to $65,000 after Samuel Merritt University and Turner Construction Company pledged a combined $45,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

'Person of Interest' Questioned About Missing Nursing Student Michelle Le

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- A woman who was once friends with a missing California nursing student has been declared a "person of interest" in the case and been questioned by detectives, police said.

Michelle Le, 26, vanished on Friday on her way to the garage at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward in northern California. She is a student at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, where she was pursuing an accelerated bachelor's degree combining academic work with clinical training.

Hayward cops served a warrant over the weekend at the home of the former friend, whose name has not been released, and seized her computer and cellphone.

"We ultimately released her and she remains, as do a couple of others, as a person of interest," said Lt. Roger Keener of the Hayward Police Department.

Keener played down possible parallels between Le's disappearance and an unsolved case in Solano County last year, in which the body of nursing student Phuong Le, 24, was found in Napa County 12 days after she disappeared outside a bookstore in Fairfield, Calif.

Fairfield is about a half-hour's drive from Hayward.

Keener acknowledged that are a number of similar elements in the two disappearances. Both women drove white Hondas, they had the same last name, similar physical appearance, and both were nursing students.

"We can't discount it in its entirety," Keener said. But he said that after talking to police in Fairfield, where Phuong Le disappeared, investigators felt there was a "slim chance" the two cases are related.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Missing Nursing Student Michelle Le Vanishes From California Hospital

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(HAYWARD, Calif.) -- Police are searching for missing nursing student Michelle Hoang Thi Le, who disappeared while on a break from making clinical rounds at a hospital in Hayward, Calif.

Le, 26, is a student at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, Calif. She disappeared around 7 p.m. May 27.

"The entire Samuel Merritt University community is deeply concerned about the disappearance of our nursing student Michelle Le," said Elizabeth Valente, a spokeswoman for Samuel Merritt University. "She was last seen Friday evening after she did not return to the hospital from the parking garage at the Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center."

Le's car was found a few blocks from the hospital on Saturday, according to a statement by the Hayward Police Department. Le had her car keys and cellphone with her but has not responded to calls.

Authorities have traced her cellphone signal to Oakland, Union City and Fremont, ABC affiliate KGO reported, but can no longer pick it up, KGO reported.

"The reality is, it's a pretty large area," Hayward Police Lt. Roger Keener told KGO. "We've had the helicopter fly over the area...We haven't found anything at all that leads us [in] one direction or another, that tells us this is a foul play incident or anything." They are still treating Le's disappearance as a missing persons case.

Le reportedly told some classmates that she had plans to go to Reno, Nev., Friday night, police said.

Le does not have any medical or psychiatric conditions that could account for her disappearance, police said.

Anyone with information that may help locate Le should contact Hayward Police Department at 510-293-7000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio