UPDATE: Police are now telling reporters that all signs point to homicide in the case of Michelle Le, the missing nursing student. Police released a statement saying that after extensive interviews and forensic investigation of her abandoned car, they believe they are dealing with a homicide. "We realize this is the worst possible
news for Michelle's family and friends, and for everyone involved in
looking for her. Despite everyone's hopes, our effort to find Michelle
is officially an effort of recovery," the statement reads.
Samuel Merritt University has kicked in an extra $45,000 to help police find one of their students, Michelle Le, who disappeared over Memorial Day weekend.
The university released a statement today, telling reporters that, along with Turner Construction Company, it has pledged $45,000. That brings the reward for information leading to her safe return to $65,000. Her family has already put up $20,000.
Le, 26, went missing more than a week ago while taking a break from her mentoring program at Kaiser Hospital. When she wasn't studying nursing, Le worked part-time at Turner as an accounting clerk.
"100 percent of these funds will be used toward finding Michelle and keeping the spirit of her search alive," says her younger brother, Michael Le. "We will execute whatever it takes to bring her home."
Le went missing on May 26 when she left Kaiser Hospital in her white Honda. A parking garage surveillance camera shows her leaving the lot at about 7 p.m. Her car was found a half-mile from the hospital on a residential street in Hayward.
Police have interviewed more than 20 people, including a former friend of Le's, Giselle Esteban. Police searched Esteban's home and computer and say she remains a person of interest. They say she could still be holding a grudge against Le for stealing her high school boyfriend.
"This is an emotional time for all of us and we [are] doing what we can to help by putting out flyers, cooperating with the Hayward police, and keeping her name out in the community," SMU spokeswoman Elizabeth Valente says. "She has a deep passion in becoming a nurse. Both the Samuel Merritt University community and Turner Construction Company remain hopeful that she is safe and will be located soon."
Anyone with information should contact Hayward Police at 510-293-7000.
Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly