Police make arrest in missing Calif. student case

September 7, 2011 1:37:43 PM PDT
An arrest has been made in connection with a missing Northern California nursing student last seen more than three months ago, police said Wednesday.

More details about the arrest surrounding Michelle Le's disappearance will be released during an afternoon news conference, Hayward Police Lt. Roger Keener said.

Police said Le, 26, was last seen May 27 leaving Kaiser Hospital during a break from a clinical rotation. Her locked Honda SUV was later found a few blocks away.

Le's friend from high school in San Diego, Giselle Diwag Esteban, whom investigators named as a person of interest back in June, was arrested Wednesday morning in Union City and booked on suspicion of murder, Alameda County jail records show.

Esteban contacted a San Francisco television station in June after Hayward detectives questioned her and searched her Union City apartment. She told KGO-TV that she hated Le because she was friends with the father of Esteban's young daughter. But Esteban said she had nothing to do with Le's disappearance.

Court records show that Esteban's ex-boyfriend, who had custody of their daughter, was granted a restraining order against her three days before Le disappeared, according to KGO.

Authorities have classified Le's disappearance as a homicide based on forensic evidence from Le's vehicle, surveillance footage outside the hospital, cell phone records and evidence collected during search warrants.

But Le's family members, who have offered a $100,000 reward for her return or for information on her whereabouts and conducted numerous searches for her, have held hope she will be found alive.

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