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Amber Dubois' mother found remains of nursing student Michelle Le [Updated]

September 21, 2011 |  6:43 am

Giselle Esteban
Human remains that have been positively identified as those of missing nursing student Michelle Le were discovered by the mother of murdered Escondido teenager Amber Dubois.

Carrie McGonigle was one of about two dozen people participating in a search organized by the Le family for the missing 26-year-old.

McGonigle said her 1-year-old yellow Labrador, named Amber in memory of her daughter, led her to the remains Saturday near an Alameda County park. McGonigle's 14-year-old daughter was killed in 2009.

Le, 26, was working at a hospital in Hayward, Calif., on May 27 when she went to her car to retrieve something. She was never seen alive again.

Security cameras in the hospital garage revealed that Giselle Esteban, 27, who went to high school with Le in San Diego, was in the garage about the time Le disappeared, Hayward police said. Esteban was arrested this month in connection with Le's disappearance.

Traces of Le's DNA were found on one of Esteban's shoes, and cellphone records show that Esteban's phone and Le's were in the same area after Le disappeared, police said.

On Saturday, human remains were found in a remote Alameda County canyon. They have been positively identified as Le's, authorities said Tuesday.

Esteban, who is several months pregnant, told a television station this year that she hated Le but had nothing to do with her disappearance. Esteban blamed Le for ruining her relationship with a boyfriend, who fathered a child with Esteban and has been fighting her for custody.

[Updated at 8:30 a.m.: Amber went missing in February 2009, when she was last seen walking to school carrying a $200 check to buy a lamb for her 4-H Club project. The girl's family worked for a year to keep her investigation alive until her skeletal remains were discovered in a remote area of northern San Diego County. Registered sex offender John Gardner was later convicted in her rape and murder.]


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-- Maura Dolan

Photo: Giselle Esteban appears in a Hayward courtroom during her arraignment Sept. 9. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press