Timeline: Michelle Le Homicide

Important dates following the disappearance of a San Diego-raised missing nursing student

By Sarah Grieco
|  Friday, Dec 2, 2011  |  Updated 1:19 PM PDT
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Vigil Held for Michelle Le

Michelle Le went missing on May 27.

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Vigil Held for Michelle Le

Family and friends gathered in honor or the San Diego native who has been missing in the Bay Area since May 27.
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The case of missing nursing student Michelle Le was mostly a mystery until her remains were discovered four months after she disappeared. Le, 26, grew up in San Diego and went to Mt. Carmel High.

Here are some of the important dates in the Le case:

May 27, 2011
Michelle Le was last seen from her Le was last seen at 7 p.m. on Friday at Kaiser Hospital at 27303 Sleepy Hollow Ave. in Hayward. She was taking a break from class when she vanished, leaving all her belongings behind.

May 31
Friends and family offer a $20,000 reward for the missing student.

June 2
Giselle Esteban, 27, a former friend of Le’s, tells a Bay-area television station that she “openly hates Michelle” for once stealing her boyfriend in high school.
 
June 3
Family increases the reward to $45,000 for Le. By this time, police have issued multiple search warrants and interviewed between 15 and 20 people during the investigation.

June 7
Investigators deem Le’s case a homicide, but Le’s body has yet to be found. Police have interviewed 25 people about the incident. Le’s family increased the reward to $65,000.

June 19
A three-day search for Le wraps up and searchers do not find anything. Marc Klass, a man who lost his daughter Polly to kidnap and murder by Richard Allen Davis in October 1993, assisted the Le family with the search.

Hayward police Sgt. Steve Brown said investigators wanted to  remain hopeful that Le was alive, but "based on all the evidence, we have the grim possibility that Michelle is dead and we should prepare for the worst."

June 22
The Le family hires a private investigator to further develop the case of Le’s whereabouts. Private investigating firm The Framé Group is worked independently of the Hayward Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

July 22
Reward for Le is increased to $100,000.

July 31

Police tell the public they are close to making an arrest. Once evidence was processed, police said they believe an arrest could be made.

Sept. 7
Esteban, who said she “openly hated Michelle” was arrested and charged with murder.

Police said they had surveillance video of Esteban near Le's vehicle before and after it was in the hospital parking lot. They said they also had evidence that proved Esteban was inside Le's car. They said GPS tracking showed the both Esteban's and Le's cell phone took the same trip to the Niles Canyon/Sunol area the night Le disappeared.

Sept. 8
A pregnant Giselle Esteban was rushed to the hospital, despite her upcoming arraignment.

Sept. 19
Le’s remains were discovered in the Sunol Canyon area by the mother of Amber DuBois, a girl who was killed in San Diego in 2009 by John Gardner.

Sept. 27
A vigil is held for Le in Oakland, as the family is able to mourn Le’s death.

Dec. 2
Esteban gives birth to a healthy baby, according to her attorney. She was scheduled to appear in court for a plea entry, but it was delayed until Jan. 6, 2012.

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