An arrest was made Wednesday morning in the case of Michelle Le, a nursing student who vanished over three months ago. The Hayward Police Department arrested Giselle Esteban in Union City, California, said Lt. Roger Keener.
Esteban, 27, was arrested and charged with murder. She is being held without bail in an Alameda County jail. The 27-year-old was a friend of Le’s from high school.
“Today does not mark the end of the investigation,” said Keener, as quoted by ABC News. “We will not consider this investigation complete until Michelle is found.”
Le, a nursing student, disappeared May 27 after telling classmates she was going to get something from her car but never returned. Police found Le’s Honda SUV the next day about a half-mile away with blood inside.
Authorities said evidence including blood stains, surveillance footage, cell phone records and DNA traces on a shoe, led to the arrest of Esteban.
Police said bloodstains on the interior of Le’s car belonged to the missing nursing student. They also discovered Le’s DNA on sneakers found in Esteban’s home, said Kenner. The Hayward police and FBI began tracking Le and Esteban’s cell phone after Le went missing, and found both phones moved around in the same path and timeframe.
Le’s family is hoping for her safe return, reported CNN affiliate KGO. They offered a $100,000 reward for Le’s safe return or for information regarding her whereabouts.
“I just want to hear her voice so badly, and the only thing I’m going to be wishing for is for her to come back home,” said Michael, Le’s brother, as quoted by CNN.
Police classified the case in June as a homicide and have not elaborated on Esteban’s motive.
Esteban told a San Francisco television station in June that she “openly hates Michelle” for stealing her boyfriend, but Esteban denied killing Lee. Three days prior to Le’s disappearance, the former boyfriend filed a restraining order against Esteban, citing her erratic behavior and suicidal threats, reported MSNBC.