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Monday, September 19, 2011

Michelle Le Update: Body Found in Sunol

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 8:05 AM

Michelle Le
  • Michelle Le

Medical authorities are working to determine whether the body found in a rugged area near Sunol Canyon this weekend is Michelle Le, the 26-year-old nursing student who went missing in May.

Over the weekend, a volunteer discovered a badly decomposed body in the Sunol Canyon near Pleasanton. The coroner was unable to determine the gender of the body, and DNA test results could take even longer.

While police haven't said they believe it's Le's body, police noted that the human remains were found in the same area where they had traced cellphone signals from both Le and the woman accused of killing her, Giselle Esteban.

Le was last seen on May 26 when she took a quick break from her mentoring program at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward. Le told colleagues she was going to her car in the parking garage -- but she never came back.

The next morning, police found Le's car parked on a residential street a half-mile from the hospital; the doors were locked and her blood was found inside. Police named Esteban a person of interest, and earlier this month, they arrested her on suspicion of killing her former high school friend. Esteban had already told reporters she openly hated Le for ruining her relationship with her boyfriend, but she denied having anything to do with her disappearance.

When police announced the arrest, they pointed to surveillance video that showed Esteban in the parking garage before Le entered the lot.  They also found Le's DNA on her shoes. Police believe Esteban killed her in the parking garage and dumped her body, possibly in the Sunol Canyon area where police traced both of their cell phones.

On Sunday, police went back to the area where the human remains were found, looking for any other clues that would bolster their case -- jewelry, clothes, and hopefully, a murder weapon.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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