Body Found Saturday is Missing Nursing Student Michelle Le

Michelle Le, 26, of San Mateo, went missing May 27 from Kaiser Hospital in Hayward.

Hayward, Calif. -- Hayward police have announced that the human remains discovered Saturday near Pleasanton are those of nursing student Michelle Le, who went missing almost four months ago.

The Alameda County Coroner’s Office made the announcement late Monday night, almost 60 hours after during a search organized by Le’s family.

Based on evidence found in Hayward, where she was last seen, it's believed she was slain, but the exact cause of death is still under investigation, Hayward police said.

Le’s family issued a press release shortly after the announcement, asking for "privacy and respect during this difficult time."

Krystine Dinh, Le's cousin, said, "The family is grieving and preparing a memorial service for Le — a proper goodbye."

Since Le’s disappearance, her family has remained hopeful and has kept Le's story in the media spotlight, holding, public events and .

The story has made national headlines and compelled strangers to volunteer their time to help locate her.

According to a report on KTVU, the volunteer who found the remains during Saturday's search was Carrie McGonigle, the mother of Amber Du Bois, a 14-year-old San Diego area girl who was missing for a year before her remains were found in a remote area. She had been kidnapped and murdered.

"Thank you for your support and thoughts. Our family has greatly appreciated, and would be at a loss, without the help of so many people and volunteers," Dinh said Monday night.

Le, 26, a San Mateo resident who grew up in San Diego, was last seen May 27 at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward. She was at the hospital taking a class as part of a nursing course she was enrolled in at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland.

She told classmates she was planning to drive to Reno after class. She left during a break and didn't return, according to police.

Police found her car parked a few blocks from the hospital the next day with blood stains that were later determined to be from Le.

Earlier this month Hayward police arrested and charged a Union City woman with Le’s murder.

Giselle Esteban, 27, who has been a person of interest since Le’s disappearance, was . After her arrest, police revealed that a pair of athletic shoes taken in a May 29 search of her apartment contained Le's DNA.

Police said footage from security cameras at the Kaiser Permanente parking structure showed that Esteban, who is now seven months pregnant, was there around the time of Le's disappearance.

Additionally, evidence found inside Le's car indicated that Esteban had been inside the vehicle, investigators said.

Police also said cell phone records from Le and Esteban show their phones traveled along the same path, leaving the area just after Le's disappearance.

Esteban was originally scheduled to enter a plea Monday morning but that was postponed because she has not yet finalized who her lawyer will be.

Though no motive has been determined, Esteban told KGO-TV reporters shortly after Le went missing that she openly hated Le after the two had a falling out some years ago. She also accused Le of ruining her relationship with her child’s father. However, Esteban said she had nothing to do with Le's disappearance.

Esteban’s ex-boyfriend told Patch in a previous interview that he and Le have been close friends for nine years and that Esteban’s accusations are untrue.

The ex-boyfriend three days before Le went missing, citing increasingly bizarre behavior that included stalking him, threatening to shoot herself and entering his home uninvited.

Esteban is scheduled to appear in court at the Hayward Hall of Justice at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28.

Follow Union City Patch on Twitter and Facebook for more updates on this story.

SMRTNUP September 21, 2011 at 04:48 AM
We all have emotions ! . . Some moreso than others ! . . Some are unable to check their emotions and tempers quickly so as to restrain ones actions while in a state of anger or emotional upheaval ! . . . If you already know that you are a person with a hot temper or emotions that take you over at times of stress now is the time to do something to learn to control yourself during times of stress and anger ! . . Don't wait until you've made a big mistake that can't be un-done or corrected and your life is in ruins and when regret is all that's left to do ! . . . Just a thought ! . . . Jealousy is another human trait that should be brought under control ! . . . Your own life is too important to waste because of a lack of self control. . . . Just think about it ! . . .
min September 22, 2011 at 10:47 PM
I didn't know Michelle but her story made me cry. As I followed her story I found pictures of her and her families, about how she lost her mother at a young age from cancer and that she wanted to follow her mother footsteps, to be a nurse. Michelle is 6 mos away from graduating and her dreams would have been fulfilled. Reading the family and friends blog, one feels the overpowering love and affection to Michelle. Looking through pictures of Michelle with her beautiful smiles, you see a good person, caring and sensitive young woman so full of life and dreams, but that was taken so abruptly with this heinous crime. As I write this with tears and heavy heart, I realize that Michelle is now in a better place. I am so sorry Michelle that your time with us wasn't long enough, I am so sorry for not being able to be there when you needed us the most. Forgive us. Peace be with you, my angel. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - On angel wings you do fly On angel wings into the sky On angel wings i do cry Because those angel wings took you away On angel wings the heralds sing Is there no such lovely thing? On angel wings you fly away. I will see these angel wings again someday When i am old and my time has come On angel wings I will fly Until I'm holding you once again Smiling on angel wings - by Troy Nichols
Nicole Riggle October 03, 2011 at 05:10 PM
You say that with the assumption that everyone convicted of a crime is actually guilty - if you look back there have been so many proven innocent after conviction, sometimes years later. We cannot know how many of those executed were actually innocent, since the file is closed. While you cannot give back 20 years of someone's life , you CERTAINLY cannot give back someone's life the state has taken. This is the reason there are so many appeals allowed. Furthermore, there are plenty of reasons besides new evidence to appeal a case - police misconduct, jury manipulation, corrupt judge, etc., etc. When someone is actually guilty and is just trying to drag out the process then we can criticize this system and call it broken - but when someone who is innocent of the crime is saved from death then we see why it is this way. Rushing the convicted to the chair makes the state (and therefore all of us) a murderer.
Audrey August 10, 2013 at 10:40 PM
I have not heard anyone say if the x-boyfriend is the babies father? We know by the evidence we have that Michelle was stocked, so it is premeditated murder. The boyfriend saved himself but did protect Michelle by telling her to get a restraining order also. No a piece of paper doesn't stop the attacker but it makes the victim more aware to watch out for the attacker and not let them get close if it is possible! Innocent until proven guilty sounds good But.. She will probably be found not sane enough to stand trail, but sane enough to have her baby with her. Spend a few years in a hospital environment then be set free because she is found to be sane at that time. No one in this persons family saw this type of behavior coming or tried to get this person help before it got this bad? How long were they boyfriend and girlfriend together? Was the boyfriend an enabler, in this angry girls life? There are people who just know how to work the system , They get out of jail to turn around and do the same thing again. The system isn't perfect but it is the best one out there! There are just some things that should be changed. A murder with intent should never be set free until a conviction is changed. If it is proved later that they are innocent, then let them out. Until then keep them away from anyone they could hurt. The same should be true for Child molesters, there is no cure for a pedophile, so don't let them out ever again either.
Geoff Burton August 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Audrey Esteban was given 25 years to life in prison


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