HAYWARD (CBS SF) — Friends, family and community members will gather in Hayward Sunday evening to mark the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Michelle Le, a 26-year-old San Mateo nursing student who was later found murdered.

Le disappeared on May 27 from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward, where she was working. She was studying to be a nurse at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland.

Her car was found the next morning on Ponderosa Court, about half a mile away, but it was not until Sept. 17 that her body was found, in a remote area between Pleasanton and Sunol

Before her body was found, however, Giselle Esteban, a 28-year-old Union City woman who attended high school with Le, was charged on Sept. 8 with her murder based on DNA evidence and cell phone records.

An Alameda County criminal grand jury indicted Esteban on an identical murder charge on Dec. 14 at the end of a three-day hearing. Prosecutors sought the indictment to try to speed up her trial.

According to the transcript of the grand jury’s hearing, prosecutors believe that Esteban stalked and murdered Le because she blamed Le for wrecking her relationship with Scott Marasigan, who is the father of Esteban’s daughter.

Esteban gave birth to a second child in November while she was in custody but the father of that child hasn’t been disclosed.

Le’s memory will be celebrated Sunday with a memorial ceremony at Mt. Eden Park in Hayward at 6 p.m. The ceremony has been organized in conjunction with the KlaasKids Foundation, which specializes in aiding families of the missing.

“Michelle gave meaning to her life, but it is up to those who love and miss her to give meaning to her death,” said Le’s cousin, Krystine Dinh. “We’re having this service to remember and honor a beautiful spirit who was taken before her time.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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