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UPDATE: Police Arrest Union City Woman in Missing Nursing Student Investigation

Union City resident Giselle Diwag Esteban was arrested Wednesday morning, Hayward police said.

Hayward police have arrested a Union City woman in connection with the murder of Michelle Le.

Giselle Diwag Esteban, 27, of Union City was booked into Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of murder Wednesday morning, according to court records. She is scheduled for an arraignment at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Esteban was arrested around 10 a.m. as she was leaving her residence at 35530 Monterra Terrace in the Monte Vista community of Union City, said Lt. Roger Keener of the Hayward Police Department during an afternoon press conference on Wednesday.

Le, 26, disappeared more than three months ago during a break from her clinical rotation as part of her curriculum as a nursing student at the Hayward Kaiser hospital on May 27. Police found her car the following morning parked in a nearby neighborhood with blood inside.

Le's body has not yet been located and no motive has yet been determined. The investigation will not end until she is found, police said.

"Make no mistake: Today's arrest does not mark the end of our investigation. We will not consider this investigation complete until Michelle is found," Keener said.

After what Keener called a thorough investigation, Hayward police believe Esteban to be "responsible for Michelle's demise." He noted there is no indication that Esteban was assisted in the case of Le's disappearance.

Hayward police announced numerous sources of what they called compelling evidence that led to Esteban's arrest, including:

  • Blood stains belonging to Le inside of Le’s abandoned vehicle.
  • Security camera footage from Kaiser that showed Esteban had been in the parking lot before and after Le’s disappearance.
  • Physical evidence that indicates Esteban had been inside Le’s vehicle.
  • Cell phone records and cell tower activations that show Esteban and Le’s phones “traveled on a similar path” from Kaiser to other Alameda County locations shortly after Le’s disappearance
  • A pair of Esteban’s athletic shoes recovered during a search of her home where Le’s DNA was found.

Hayward police has searched Esteban’s home three times since Le’s disappearance. On Wednesday morning, an officer drove away in Esteban’s silver Honda CR-V.

Police initially searched the home on May 29, shortly after Le went missing. Police said Wednesday this is when they retrieved the running shoes where Le’s DNA was found. The home was searched again .

Keener said during the afternoon press conference that Esteban has refused to speak with officers at this time.

Esteban is a former friend of Le's from when the two were high school students in San Diego.  She had a , also a friend of Le’s, on May 24, three days before Le went missing from the Hayward Kaiser Permanente medical facility.

The order barred Esteban from coming within 100 feet of her ex-boyfriend, with whom she has a 5-year-old child, or his immediate family.

The ex-boyfriend cited increasingly bizarre behavior by Esteban, including stalking him, threatening to shoot herself and entering his home uninvited.

Esteban has not spoken to media since telling KGO-TV reporters in early June that she “openly hates” Le after the two had a falling out. She also accused Le of ruining her relationship with her child’s father. She has said, however, she had nothing to do with Le’s disappearance.

Esteban’s ex-boyfriend told Patch in a previous interview that he and Le have been close friends for nine years and that Esteban’s accusations are untrue.

Le's family members were also present at the Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Her brother, Michael Le, and her cousin, Krystine Dinh, who wore T-shirts with Michelle's photo emblazoned on them, said they are continuing to maintain hope.

"No one should have to deal with a loved one missing," Michael Le
said. "We just want her home as soon as possible."

He said his 24th birthday is Thursday and that his sister would
always call him on his birthday to say, "I love you." "I just want to hear her voice so badly," he said.

"This isn't over until Michelle's home," Dinh said.

Read the live blog of the Hayward Police department's press conference Wednesday afternoon , and more from Le's family .

Newark Patch editor Nika Megino contributed to this report.

David Mills (Editor) September 07, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Hi, Mary: Your comment has been deleted because it violates our terms of service that prohibits foul language in the comments section. Please repost without the offending word.
Mechelle September 07, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Thank god they arrested her! She seems to have some serious issues! I pray that Michelle's family has the strength to go through this next phase and hopefully they get some answers.
Alice Smithline September 08, 2011 at 12:46 AM
it is to bad that a person was killed for no reason. it is sad to think that in this world we can't control what we feel inside and have to kill someone to make a point.
Evoc Donna September 08, 2011 at 01:12 AM
May she rest in peace.
Geoff Burton September 08, 2011 at 07:00 AM
My sincere condolences to Miss. Le's family, who throughout this long ordeal have held steadfastly to their hopes for her eventual recovery and reunion and conducted themselves accordingly.I am saddened by the arrest of the suspect because the evidence it is based on drains away any hope I had that the Le family was right and there efforts would result in Micheal Le's recovery and safe return. I once again offer my deepest condolences and best wishes.
Nadja Adolf September 08, 2011 at 07:14 PM
This is a tragedy, and unspeakable tragedy.
Geoff Burton September 09, 2011 at 05:04 AM
Until the jury says otherwise she's innocent , but should she be found guilty I'd rather see her in prison for the rest of her life with no possibility of parole of course if they could manage to put her down in less than 25 years that's okay to.
K September 18, 2011 at 03:53 AM
Giselle Esteban is a sick, sorry, disgusting excuse of a woman (and human being). To think that she murdered someone based on her own delusions and jealousy, someone who was completely unsuspecting and innocent, makes her even more repugnant than her rat-face makes her appear. The Le family is crushed by the actions of this animal. Prison is far too good for her.
Geoff Burton September 18, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Execution is to expensive because it is an inefficient system subject to too many appeals,but because of past releases of death row prisoners due to DNA evidence we have to be overly careful I still think she should be thrown in a pit and never see the light of day again, if she's guilty, but we won't get that either. Life without the possibility of parole is the best we can hope for anything else won't happen til I'm dead and buried due to appeals.All that said I do agree with you K.
Woodrow Johnston September 18, 2011 at 08:42 AM
The evidence hardly seems compelling.
spike September 18, 2011 at 09:31 AM
You're innocent till proven guilty. I believe in that, but she's got guilty written all over face in that mugshot, just like O. J. after he butchered those two innocent people.
Hero September 18, 2011 at 02:08 PM
My Condolence's Too The Le Family & May God Be With Them in This Hard Time & Angel's as Well.
Jeanne Creel September 18, 2011 at 02:25 PM
My Condolence's to the Le Family. May God help you through this difficulty and heartbreaking experience.
Shanna Medrano September 18, 2011 at 02:43 PM
We only have our society to blame for this. We have given our children everything and spoiled them so that when they don't get their way, they go crazy and start killing people. We have got to stop enabling our children and teach them that there are consequences for bad behaviour. They think they are entitled to everything and don't have to work for it. My heart goes out to the family of Ms. Le.
paul wright jr September 18, 2011 at 02:49 PM
shes guilty but why is it the bizarre ones that ruins a normal persons life??
paul wright jr September 18, 2011 at 02:50 PM
hi shanna i like ur post
janeyre September 18, 2011 at 04:11 PM
So how did Robert Blake appear, spike? You know he was also charged with murder of his wife. He was also acquitted... How was his appearance?
janeyre September 18, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Speak for yourself, Shanna... I reared two children. They didn't get everything, nor did they always get their way. They were taught Bible Principles to live by. Some of us, were actually working at our job of being parents. Both of mine are grown, healthy, married, parents now. Both seem to be decent citizens. Since I can't read hearts. I can only hope they maintain good balance and high moral standards. My heart, however goes out to the family and friends of Michelle Le...
Diane Ketz September 18, 2011 at 06:30 PM
my condolences to the Le family. May God carry them through this difficult journey.
Nanci September 20, 2011 at 06:08 PM
We have anxiously awaited news of Michelle, and prayed for her safe return. My heart is saddened that a selfish person has taken her from her loved ones. I cannot comprehend why anyone would think that he can get away with murder in this time of incredible forensics. I hope that there is good solid evidence of this heinous crime, and the perpetrator will receive a just sentence. I pray that God will comfort her family and friends in this most difficult of times.

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