Although investigators said Monday they consider the disappearance of nursing student Michelle Le a homicide, her family said they believe she is still alive.
The former San Diego resident was last seen May 27 when she took a work break during a rotation shift at a Hayward hospital and never came back.
After several weeks, Le's body still has not been found. Even so, the Hayward police department issued a release Monday reporting the case has now turned into a homicide investigation after a forensic examination of Le's car, multiple interviews of persons of interest and video evidence.
"We realize this is the worst possible news for Michelle's family and friends, and for everyone involved in looking for her," the release stated. "Despite everyone's hopes, our effort to find Michelle is officially an effort of recovery."
No suspects have been arrested, but detectives are questioning people of interest. Investigators said 25 people have been questioned regarding the case.
Capt. Darryl McAllister said he did not want to jeopardize the investigation by elaborating further but confirmed that the evidence points conclusively to homicide.
Investigators were searching remote areas of Alameda County for Le's body, McAllister said.
Le's family posted a message late Monday on a website tracking search efforts.
"The family believes Michelle is alive. Don't give up hope everyone. We're still going to keep at it," it read.
The reward for information leading to her whereabouts now stands at $65,000. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Hayward Police at (510) 293-7034.