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Vigils planned for missing nursing student Michelle Le

June 9, 2011 | 11:45 am

Photo: Michele Le. Credit: Hayward Police Department via KTLA NewsThe family of a Bay Area nursing student who disappeared last month plan two vigils.

One will take place Thursday night and a second will occur Friday in San Diego County, where Michelle Le grew up.

Le, 26, was enrolled at Samuel Merritt University in San Mateo and working at the Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center when she vanished during a break.

Hayward police told reporters Monday that they believed Le was dead, based on evidence found in her car and on surveillance video detectives have reviewed. Officials did not provide more details. Her family posted a message on a website Monday, saying they hope she is still alive.

The family held a news conference urging the public to help in the search for Le. "We're not 'clinging' to hope. We have hope for good reason," said Krystine Dinh, Le's cousin. "We have not received any evidence as to why she would not be alive."

Le, who grew up in San Diego, told a colleague she was going to her car, which was parked in the hospital lot. She never returned, and police found her car parked a few blocks away.

Detectives have questioned Giselle Esteban, a former close friend of Le. Esteban told KGO-TV in an interview that she "openly hates" Le, claiming the missing woman stole her boyfriend. But Esteban also told the station she had nothing to do with Le's disappearance.

Le had told friends that she and a friend planned to go to Reno after her Friday night shift, according to police. "She grabbed her keys and cellphone and never came back," Hayward police Lt. Roger Keener told the San Francisco Chronicle. "She didn't call to cancel her trip, and she never showed up to meet her friend."


Family of Michelle Le believes she is still alive

Missing nursing student was homicide victim, Hayward police say

Mystery deepens over Bay Area nursing student who vanished from hospital

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Michele Le. Credit: Hayward Police Department via KTLA News