East Bay News

Police work to ID body found during Le search

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Investigators are still trying to identify skeletal remains discovered near Sunol in rural Alameda County on Saturday.

The remains were found in the Niles Canyon area during a search for missing nursing student Michelle Le. On Sunday, officials wrapped up their investigation at the site.

Investigators wanted to make sure they didn't miss anything at the site on Sunday. The body was discovered amid some brush near a creek and close to some railroad tracks.

Authorities located some items during their sweep on Sunday but said it's too soon to tell if it's connected to the body that was found and if it has any connection with Le's disappearance and murder.

Authorities say they don't know if the remains discovered on Saturday are that of the missing nursing student.

The gender of the remains will be determined on Monday at the Alameda County Coroner's Office in Oakland. Soon after that, specialists will try to identify the remains, but it's anyone's guess right now as to how long that will take.

"There's nothing that was with the body that says one way or another," said Sgt. J. D. Nelson with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. "There's no jewelry that was found. There's not a tattoo to find."

Nelson said dental remains are available for comparison to records, but admits that if DNA is needed to identify the remains it could take longer.

Although the remains have yet to be identified, investigators had long considered her remains to be somewhere in rural Alameda County based on cell phone records.

Giselle Esteban, a former friend of Le's, was arrested earlier this month and charged with Le's murder. Police believe Esteban attacked the nursing student in the parking garage at the hospital in Hayward.

Esteban is due back in court on Monday.

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Tags:
michelle le, missing person, crime, east bay news, lilian kim
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