Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 23, 2011

Le's family plan memorial

Missing nurse's body found just south of Pleasanton

Family members of Michelle Le are planning a memorial service for her now that the missing nursing student's body was found on the Pleasanton-Sunol Road on Saturday morning.

"We are grieving and preparing a memorial service for her -- a proper goodbye," the family said in a statement issued late Monday after the Alameda County coroner's bureau confirmed the body found is Le's.

They thanked the public "for your support prayers and thoughts" during the search for Le, 26, who disappeared on May 27 from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward.

"Our family has greatly appreciated, and would be at a loss, without the help of so many people and volunteers," the statement said.

Le left the medical center around 7 p.m. on May 27, telling a classmate she was going to go to her car during a break, Hayward police Lt. Roger Keener said.

When she never returned, her instructor went to the parking garage looking for her and called police to report her disappearance.

Le's car was found the next morning around 9 a.m. parked about half a mile from the medical center, Keener said, and investigators found blood stains in the vehicle that were later determined to be Le's.

On Saturday, volunteers found a body in an unincorporated area between Pleasanton and Sunol where authorities believe Le had been, based on cell phone records.

The Alameda County coroner's bureau confirmed Monday evening that the body was that of Le, but said it has not yet determined the manner and cause of her death.

The suspect in Le's killing, Giselle Esteban, 27, was taken into custody on the morning of Sept. 7 in Union City, Keener said, and arrested on suspicion of murder.

Keener said footage from security cameras at the Kaiser Permanente parking structure showed that Esteban was present around the time of Le's disappearance. Also, he said, evidence found inside Le's car indicated that Esteban had been in the vehicle.

He said cell phone records show from wireless tower activations that Le and Esteban traveled along the same route, leaving the area just after Le vanished.

--Staff reports

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