Nursing student still missing after being gone for five days
Police say they have issued multiple search warrants and have interviewed 15 to 20 people in the five days since a Northern California nursing student went missing during a break from nursing school in Hayward.
Hayward police Lt. Roger Keener said Wednesday some of those questioned in 26-year-old Michelle Le's disappearance are considered persons of interest, but no arrests have been made.
Keener says one individual was brought to the police station for questioning and later released. He did not identify that person.
Police say Le was last seen Friday evening heading to a parking garage at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward. Her locked Honda SUV was later found a few blocks away.
Investigators are examining footage from the parking structure's security cameras.
Le's family is offering a reward for information. Her father lives in Vietnam, but has flown to the area to help in the search.
UPDATE: Le's family says the reward is now $45,000. The family released this statement:
“Our family and friends are thankful for, and have been touched by, the continual support we have received from loved ones, the California community, the police, and the media. We are also aware that time is not on our side. Through our collaboration with the Hayward Police Department, we know that the six personnel assigned are doing their best with the resources currently dedicated. The reality is that the Department can only devote so many hours per day to the search. As today marks a week since her disappearance, we believe the addition of dedicated FBI personnel, who have extensive experience in missing persons cases, will benefit the search.
Esteban told KGO-TV, the Bay Area's ABC station, that she "openly hates Michelle" for once stealing her boyfriend.
On Tuesday Hayward police said they were 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. They did not update any connection when they spoke to the media on Wednesday.
Last week, Hayward Police detained 'person of interest' Giselle Esteban. Esteban was released, but remains of interest to authorities.
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."
Anyone with information about Le's whereabouts is encouraged to call the Hayward Police Department at (510) 293-7000.