The Hayward Police Department announced Wednesday that they have made an arrest in the Michelle Le homicide investigation.
Police said they arrested Giselle Esteban Wednesday morning at 9:50 a.m. as she left her Union City condo complex. The charge she faces is murder, according to the inmate locator tracker for Alameda County. Hayward police investigators held a news conference a few hours after the arrest to explain their case against Esteban (pdf).
They said they had surveillance video of Esteban near Le's vehicle before and after it was in the hospital parking lot. They said they also had evidence that proved Estaben was inside Le's car. They said GPS tracking showed the both Esteban's and Le's cell phones went the same general direction of the Niles Canyon/Sunol area the night Le disappeared. And they said they found evidence of Le's DNA on a shoe taken during a search of Esteban's home.
"We could speculate as to the motive, but it may only be answered by Esteban herself," Hayward police Lt. Roger Keener said
Police ruled the case to be a homicide in June even though a body has never been found.
New helicopters over Esteban's apartment complex showed a swarm of police activity, including officers taking boxes of evidence from her home.
Le has been missing since May 27, after she disappeared during a break from her a class at Kaiser hospital in Hayward. Police found her locked parked car with blood inside the next day, but no sign of Le.
It was not clear what prompted the arrest Wednesday. Police said nearly a month ago that an arrest in the case was imminent.
Le's brother Michael and other family members were at the news conference. Michael Le said the entire Le family was overwhelmed by the news of the arrest. The family has not given up hope of finding Michelle and said the next search was scheduled for Sept. 16. They are also offering a $100,000 reward.
The family said their primary concern now was to find Michelle and bring her home. They said they would fight every day until that happened.
Le grew up in San Diego and graduated from Mt. Carmel High before moving to Hayward. Esteban and Le were friends at Mt. Carmel and they both ended up living in the Bay Area after high school.
The two were supposedly best friends but had a falling out. Esteban told a KGO reporter that she "openly hates Michelle" for stealing her boyfriend, but that she did not kill Le.
Esteban's ex-boyfriend and the father of her child filed a restraining order against her three days before Le disappeared, according to the Contra Costa Times. Court documents said that Esteban had been exhibiting erratic and threatening behavior.
Esteban is being held on a no bail warrant at the Santa Rita jail. She has a court arraignment scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Le's family made a plea to Esteban during Wednesday's news conference. Michael Le said Esteban had "robbed us of our lives" and added they she shouldn't drag this out. The second part of that statement seemed to be a call for Esteban to tell authorities where she put Michelle's body.
Le's Aunt Thuy, who lives in the San Diego area, said she was surprised to hear only one person was arrested and reiterated that they still hold out hope somehow Michelle is alive.
Her cousin Krystine Dinh said, "This isn't over until Michelle's home. We want her to graduate from nursing school in four months and celebrate her birthday next month and Thanksgiving and Christmas, and all the Thanksgivings and Christmases after that."