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Michelle Le's family vows 'proper goodbye' for slain student

September 21, 2011 |  8:08 am

Michelle Le

The family of nursing student Michelle Le, whose remains were positively identified Tuesday, issued a statement thanking volunteers and police for their extensive search and vowing to give Lee "a proper goodbye."

"We ask for privacy and respect during this difficult time, as we are grieving and preparing a memorial service for her -– a proper goodbye," the family said. "Thank you for your support, prayers and thoughts. Our family has greatly appreciated, and would be at a loss, without the help of so many people and volunteers"

Le vanished from Hayward on May 27 when she went to her car to retrieve something and did not return.

Her family organized repeated searches in the nearby canyons, taking clues from cellphone records that showed where Le's phone was in the hours after she disappeared.

Carrie McGonigle, mother of Escondido murder victim Amber Dubois, 14, discovered Le's remains Saturday during one of the searches.

Giselle Esteban, 27, has been charged with Le's murder, authorities said Tuesday. Esteban, who went to high school with Le in San Diego County, blamed Le for causing Esteban's breakup with her boyfriend, police said. Esteban told a television station earlier this year that she hated Le but had nothing to do with her disappearance.

"Please continue praying for and supporting Michelle as our family begins the journey to ensure justice in her honor," Le's family said in the statement. "We will keep in touch regarding details for public vigil for Michelle."

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-- Maura Dolan and Shelby Grad

Photo: A family photo of Michelle Le. Credit: Associated Press

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