Police today announced the arrest of Giselle Esteban, the woman who has been a "person of interest" in the homicide case of 26-year-old Michelle Le.
Le, who was set to graduate from nursing school this year, went missing on May 27 after leaving her shift at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward, where she was part of a mentoring program. She told classmates she was going to take a break and go to her car. When she failed to come back, the instructor called police to report her missing.
Police traced video footage of Le's car leaving the parking garage at Kaiser sometime after 7 p.m. Her car was found the next day about a half-mile from Kaiser, police said.
Police found surveillance showing Esteban, who reportedly held a grudge against Le for stealing her high school boyfriend, had been inside the parking garage when Le entered it.
They believe Esteban assaulted Le before driving off in her car -- however, they do not know what condition Le was in when Esteban and Le left the parking lot.
"This whole ordeal has caused so much turmoil in our family," Le's brother, Michael said at an afternoon press conference. "She [Esteban] shouldn't drag this out any further."
Police say they found bloodstains inside Le's car, which was discovered locked and parked on Ponderosa Road in Hayward. They traced calls from her cell phone all the way to Niles Canyon, where they used helicopters and K-9 units to search for Le. They were not able to find her.
Police later obtained a search warrant for Esteban's home and computer, and found Le's DNA on Esteban's athletic shoes, which they say she insisted upon wearing when they did the search.
"There's compelling evidence leading to Esteban's arrest," says Lieutenant Roger Keener.
Esteban was arrested at about 10 a.m. at her home on suspicion of murdering Le. No weapon has been found, Keener said.
About a month after Le went missing, police concluded she had been killed. However, Le's family refused to acknowledge this assertion, and they continued searching for her while increasing the reward to help locate her.
"This does not mark the end of this investigation," Keener told reporters after announcing the arrest. "We will not consider this case complete until we find Michelle."
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