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Missing Hayward Nursing Student Case Now A Homicide

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Missing Student Michelle Le

Michelle Le (Family photo)

HAYWARD (CBS SF) – Hayward police announced Monday that the case of missing nursing student Michelle Le, who was last seen at a Hayward hospital on May 27, has become a homicide investigation.

Based on what police said is compelling evidence recovered during the investigation that “points conclusively to homicide,” the search has officially become “an effort of recovery,” according to police.

“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.

Factors that led to this classification, police said, include forensic evidence collected from Le’s car and the area of the parking structure where it was located, information collected during interviews, examination of evidence gathered during service of search warrants, review of video footage from the garage and other locations, and examination of Le’s cellphone records.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Also Monday, Samuel Merritt University and Turner Construction Company confirmed that they have pledged a combined $45,000 reward, totaling $65,000 when combined with family contributions and donations for information leading to the 26-year-old.

Le went missing on May 27 at 7 p.m. from Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center at 27303 Sleepy Hollow Ave. Le told classmates she was planning to drive to Reno after her rotation at the Kaiser hospital in Hayward. She left during a break and did not return, according to Hayward police.

Le has worked with Turner Construction Company part-time as an accounting clerk for five years, Samuel Merritt University spokeswoman Elizabeth Valente said.

In January, Le enrolled at Samuel Merritt’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and is a graduate of San Francisco State University, she said.

FBI spokeswoman Julianne Sohn said the FBI have been in close contact with the Hayward police and “have made every appropriate resource available to them.”

Le’s family created a website, michellelemissing.com, which includes a family phone number, (510) 303-3013, for people to call to share any information about Le, along with contact numbers for Hayward police.

The family also created a Facebook page, “Help Find Michelle Hoang Thi Le – Missing from San Mateo, California.”

Hayward police spokesman Lt. Roger Keener said police are continuing to investigate leads and have identified several persons of interest but have not made any arrests.

Le is 5 feet 6 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about Le’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Hayward police at (510) 293-7000.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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