NBC Bay Area
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of a Hayward nursing students deepens.
A young woman who left nursing class last Friday night has not been seen since and her brother says he's worried sick about her.
Tuesday, family and friends of Michelle Hoang Thi Le joined police in searching for the 26-year-old. Her family offered a $20,000 reward for information on her whereabouts. They also posted missing person fliers in the area where she was last seen.
Hayward police said they have four investigators working on the case. On Tuesday they said they are looking into a possible connection between this case and a case out of Fairfield from a year ago. A 24-year-old nursing student named Phuong Le disappeared from a book store in April 2010. Her body was later found in Napa. There have been no arrests in the case.
Hayward police said because the two women were both Vietnamese, both had the last name Le, were both nursing students and both drove white SUVs, they are talking to investigators in Fairfield to see if there could be a link in the two cases. Police also said the similarities could also be a sad coincidence.
Michelle Le's brother Michael said the disappearance is out of character for his sister who he says is always responsible and calls him frequently.
"She’s always been a better child, and daughter than I’ve been a son in my opinion. She’s always protected me ever since out mom passed away maybe 10 years ago when I was 11. She really became like a mother figure to me and almost over protective. I’m 23 but she still tries to take care of me as best as she can," Michael Le said.
Through tears Michael said if something did happen to his sister she didn't deserve it adding, "I just want her home."
Family also traveled from San Diego and Le's father, who lives in Vietnam, reportedly flew to the Bay Area on Tuesday to help join the search.
Le was last seen at 7 p.m. on Friday at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward. Her classmates said that she left some of the school gear behind but did not return from a break.
Police found her locked Honda SUV a few blocks away, but there was no sign of her. She told fellow students on Friday that she planned to go to Reno for Memorial Day weekend, but she did not show up there. Her cell phone has gone unanswered since Friday. Police said they were able to track it in the East Bay over the weekend, but got no signal from the phone as of Monday. They think that means its battery is dead.
Anyone with information about Le's whereabouts is encouraged to call the Hayward Police Department at (510) 293-7000.