Pregnancy keeps Michelle Le suspect out of court

September 8, 2011 9:58:03 PM PDT
The woman charged with murdering missing nursing student Michelle Le was supposed to appear in court on Thursday. Instead, Giselle Esteban was taken to the jail infirmary.

A Hayward judge confirmed what ABC7 first reported earlier this summer: The 27-year-old suspect in Le's disappearance is pregnant. An apparent complication with the pregnancy kept Esteban from being arraigned for the murder of the missing nursing student.

"Out of an abundance of caution, she's being seen by some medical people right now," said Alameda County Judge Gary Picetti.

The 26-year-old Le disappeared from the parking garage of Kaiser hospital in Hayward on May 27. Her white Honda was found the next day.

Extensive searches of the Sunol and Niles Canyon areas have yet to turn up Le's body.

"It's enormously important to find the body," ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson. "These days of forensic prosecution, the body becomes a big piece of the puzzle -- if you find the body, it's conclusive to the fact of death."

According to police, Esteban's arrest was based on several factors, including surveillance video that showed Esteban in the hospital's parking garage before and after Le disappeared; blood stains in Le's car; evidence that puts Esteban in Le's car; cell phone records that show Le and Esteban's phones travelling in tandem; and Esteban's shoes seized during the execution of a search warrant that contained Le's DNA.

In a phone call to ABC7 on May 31, Esteban said, "I openly hate Michelle." Esteban denied she killed Le, but went on to tell ABC7 she was upset with Le's friendship with Scott Morasigan, the father of Esteban's 5-year-old daughter.

Esteban also said she was pregnant with Marasigan's second child.

"The fact that she was pregnant allegedly at the time of this killing...that flies in the face of the prosecution's theory that this person could commit a murder and dispose of the body," said former prosecutor Steven Clark.

Once Esteban's health issues stabilize, the judge said she would be brought back to court for her arraignment.


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