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

June 7, 2011 |  7:21 am

Photo: Michele Le. Credit: Hayward Police Department via KTLA NewsHayward police have classified the case of a nursing student who disappeared last month during a break from rounds at a hospital in Hayward as a homicide.

Police have said 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 believe Le is dead based on evidence found in her car and on surveillance videotapes 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.

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.

"We ultimately released [Esteban] and she remains, as do a couple of others, as a person of interest," Lt. Roger Keener of the Hayward Police Department told ABC News. Keener also said there were other leads police were following, including whether Le's case might be connected to another missing persons case.

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."


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