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Family of missing nursing student Michelle Le believes she is still alive

June 8, 2011 |  7:47 am

Photo: Michele Le. Credit: Hayward Police Department via KTLA NewsThe family of a nursing student who disappeared last month during a break from rounds at a hospital said they believe she is still alive despite an announcement by police that they were treating the case as a homicide.

Michelle Le, 26, was enrolled at Samuel Merritt University in San Mateo and working at the East Bay hospital when she vanished.

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 questioned Giselle Esteban, a former close friend of Le's. 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 buddy planned to go to Reno after her Friday night shift, according to police. "She grabbed her keys and cellphone and never came back," Keener told the San Francisco Chronicle. "She didn't call to cancel her trip and she never showed up to meet her friend."


Missing nursing student Michelle Le was homicide victim, Hayward police say

-- Shelby Grad

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