Police confirmed the decomposed remains found in a San Francisco Bay area canyon over the weekend are those of nursing student Michelle Le, who had been missing since May while taking a school break.
Hayward police said tests conducted by the Alameda County coroner on the remains confirmed that they were those of Le, who was last seen May 27 at about 7:00 p.m. local time as she was taking a break at Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center in Hayward, Calif.
Although the identity of the remains has now been confirmed, forensic pathology examinations are ongoing to determine, to the extent possible, the exact manner and cause of Michelle's death, the police department said in a statement.
Le, 26, left the hospital during a break from her evening shift. Her instructor later went to the parking garage searching for her and reported her disappearance to police. Police found her body locked inside of a Honda SUV, a half-mile away from the hospital.
Earlier this month, police arrested and charged her former friend, Giselle Esteban, 27, with murder. Esteban hasn't yet entered a plea, The Associated Press reported. Police have been examining cell phone records between the two women.
Le, who lived in San Mateo, was enrolled in the accelerated bachelors of science in nursing program at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. She was scheduled to graduate in December.
For a brief moment in time, Michelle Le, a beautiful, kind-hearted, energetic, and compassionate young woman graced us with her presence, said Sharon Diaz, the school's president, in a statement. It is with heavy hearts that we learn from Hayward Police Department that Michelle Le's missing person case has now become a murder investigation. The pain we feel is indescribable.
Teachers and classmates described Michelle as a good student and an active volunteer who was generous to the point of being selfless.
On behalf of all of us in the SMU community we are all deeply saddened by the news and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and fellow classmates during this difficult time, added Diaz.