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UPDATE: Police Now Calling Michelle Le Case a Homicide Investigation

Hayward Police Department says evidence recovered "points conclusively" to homicide.

UPDATE: The search for Michelle Le has now turned into a homicide investigation.

Police said compelling evidence recovered during the investigation "points conclusively to homicide" and the search has  become "an effort of recovery." 

"We realize this is the worst possible news for Michelle's family and friends, and for everyone involved in looking for her," police said in a statement Monday night.

In a report on KTVU Tuesday morning, police planned to begin searching rural areas of the East Bay for her body.

Police believe Le was killed based on forensic evidence collected from Le's car and from the Kaiser hospital parking structure where it was parked; information collected during interviews; examination of evidence gathered via search warrants; review of video footage from the garage and other locations; and examination of Le's cellphone records, police said.

As of Monday, more than 25 people have been questioned regarding the case, police said. No one has been charged with Le's murder.

On Monday evening, Hayward police searched the Union City apartment of a woman who was previously questioned as a "person of interest" in the case. The department did not release any other information on the search.

Le was last seen on May 27 at 7 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center's facility at 27303 Sleepy Hollow Ave., Hayward.

She was supposed to meet a friend and drive to Reno after finishing her rotation at the medical facility. She left during a break and did not return, according to Hayward police.

According to media reports, police believe Le was killed in the hospital parking garage by someone who is "not a stranger."

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office is also evaluating the case.

The person of interest, whom Patch is not identifying because she has not been arrested, lives in the Monte Vista apartments off Alvarado Niles Road. She is a former friend of Le's who had been quoted as saying she "hated" Le. The woman was initially questioned last week.

Residents at the Monte Vista apartments said they have not seen the woman since last Monday, May 30, when she knocked on doors, apologizing for the police presence the previous weekend. Police initially detained the woman for questioning on May 28, according to witnesses.

A neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said the woman who was questioned was upset because she felt she was being targeted by media. She told the neighbor then that she would be relocating. Neighbors said she had only been living at the apartments for about two months and they didn't see her often.

The news of the case being a homicide came shortly after the reward for information about Le was upped to $65,000, thanks to pledges from the university where she was a nursing program and her workplace, Turner Construction Company, where Le has worked part-time as an accounting clerk for five years, said Samuel Merritt University spokeswoman Elizabeth Valente. 

Also in the news Monday was the discovery of a woman's body inside a plastic bag in a Sunnyvale neighborhood. A representative with the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office said there was no information available for release regarding the body that was found.

Hayward police spoke with Sunnyvale officials to see if the body had been identified as an Asian female, but it's believed to be that of a Hispanic adult female, so it's not believed to be connected to the Le case.

On Friday night, at least 200 friends, family members and other supporters , in the neighborhood where Le's car was found, to hold a rally in the search for her.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Zinn June 07, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Sounds like the HPD are pretty certain of their evidence. Originally I thought it was a serial murder but it looks like it was somebody she knew. I can't imagine how anyone could commit murder. What could have possibly compelled someone to become angry enough to commit a premeditated murder?
Mona Taplin June 07, 2011 at 06:39 PM
I can't even imagine anyone killing someone. They not only take a life and bring such sorrow to the victim's family but they also completely destroy their own life and bring terrible sorrow to their own family. If indeed he/she did lure the nurse outside,- and that's not fact, just what it sounds like to me,- then they have committed first degree pre-meditated murder.
Tim June 07, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Very sad indeed. It's usually someone they know, unfortunately. They will nail her killer. There's a massive amount of evidence, both physical from her vehicle, and gained through the interviews of the 25 people questioned. This much is certain. Now if only UCPD can find some evidence to nail the murderers in the two recent Union City homicides.
Marie June 10, 2011 at 06:52 PM
This morning on my way to work, search teams were near the end of Vallecito's road, I'm pretty sure they were looking for her body. The area is very close to the SUnol Road area that the femail "of interest" lived. It was very creepy. All I could think about was what the family must feel like when they see those search parties? It was even hard for me and I'm a complete stranger! It's just so obvious they are searching for her body, not for her rescue.
comrade June 11, 2011 at 02:27 AM
I've had police at my residence, but I didn't go knocking on my neighbors doors apologizing for the police presence. I don't think that is necessary because the neighbors should MYOB.

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