The memorial vigil of Michelle Le, who disappeared for four months and recently announced dead, will be held on Tuesday evening at Samuel Merritt University, where she studied at the time of her disappearance.
Le, 26, went missing about 7 p.m. on May 27. It was reported that she left during a class break at Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center. She told her classmates that she planned to drive to Reno, Nev., to meet her friends over the weekend. But after she left, she never came back again.
Her remains was found on Sept. 17 near a dirt road between the Pleasanton and Sunol's unincorporated area and confirmed Sept. 19.
According to Le's cousin Krystine Dinh, in order to thank the community and key people who supported the finding their loved one, they will hold this vigil.
On behalf of our family, this vigil is our chance to thank her loved ones, the community and other key people for their help in bringing her home, Dinh wrote in an announcement for the vigil, with the help of so many dedicated people, Michelle was brought home to us.
Her family and friends have been blessed to have her in our lives, she added.
University spokeswoman Elizabeth Valente said the outdoor vigil is expected well-attended. After graduated from San Francisco State University, Le had studied in an accelerated one-year nursing program at Samuel Merritt and. She was supposed to graduate in December this year. Valente said Le had been waiting for five years for the program.
During her study in the program, Le had taken most of her class at the San Mateo annex and done clinical rotation at hospitals throughout the area.
The students at Samuel Merritt were hit hard by Le's missing and death, as was the community, Valente said.
There are so many people who have been truly affected, she said.There's going to be a huge outpouring of people wanting to cope, pay tribute and meet the family. Even people who have never met Michelle.
Le had grown up in a large extended family in San Diego, having a lot of friends in the Bay Area and Southern California. Her family did unflagging work for the case, which was praised by Hayward police.
Giselle Esteban, an ex-friend of Le, was arrested on Sept. 7 on suspicion of murdering Le. Le and Esteban were friends in the high school. However, the relationship between Esteban and Le soured afterwards. Esteban once said straightforward in an interview that she openly hated Le because Le caused her and her ex-boyfriend to split. However, she has denied involvement in Le's disappearance.
However, from the footage of security cameras at the Kaiser Permanente parking structure that Esteban was present around the time of Le’s disappearance. Furthermore, the DNA evidence and cellphone records tied Esteban to Le’s death, authorities said.
Esteban is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail. Now she is pregnant for seven months.
The memorial vigil is scheduled at 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday in outdoor green space area, Samuel Merritt University, 450 30th St., Oakland. Private memorial services will be held at a later date.