Mystery of missing nursing student deepens

May 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A frantic search continues for a missing college student who vanished three days ago without a trace.

Michelle Le is a 26-year-old nursing student. She was last seen Friday night at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward. Police are being extremely tight-lipped about their investigation and so are friends and family members who say police have asked them not to talk to reporters. However, the university where Le is enrolled has spoken out about their concerns.

"This disappearance has affected all of us, her classmates, her teachers," university spokesperson Elizabeth Valente told ABC7.

Le is scheduled to graduate next year with a nursing degree from Samuel Merrit University, a small private school based in Oakland. She is enrolled at its campus in San Mateo.

"Michelle is a beautiful, bright, intelligent young lady. She's in one of our accelerated nursing programs. She enjoys studying to become a nurse," Valente said.

Le's aunt in San Diego told ABC7 that her father, who lives in Vietnam, was told about her disappearance and is now en route to San Francisco. She says Le grew up in San Diego and moved to the Bay Area after high school.

If police have leads, they are not talking about them. Neither are close friends. What is known about the young woman who has been missing since Friday night is that she was last seen at about 7 p.m. at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward, where she is in a mentoring program. She reportedly told a fellow student she had to go to her car which was parked in a hospital garage.

Then, she disappeared.

Police say they scanned garage security video but saw nothing that would help. They found her car on Ponderosa Court, a half-mile from the hospital. Investigators tried tracking Le's cell phone. Oakland, Union City, and Fremont came up but again, police say the information has not been helpful.

In the meantime, Samuel Merritt University has sent out an email asking students to be vigilant just in case.

"They know to try to keep a buddy system when possible and especially now, to ask for security if they leaving a building, particularly at night," Valente said.

Monday night, Le's family went to the Hayward neighborhood where her car was found and posted flyers. They are hoping her picture will jog people's memories.

"It's been really crazy because you just don't know what happened; it could be really good news or it could be really bad news, we really don't know, it's really hard not to assume the worst but we're trying," Le's brother Michael said.

Le is 26 years old and is 5 feet, 6 inches tall. She was last seen wearing her white scrubs. Her family is hoping a reward will help find her. They have pooled their money and are offering a $20,000 for information leading to her safe return.

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