Coroner identifies decomposed body as Michelle Le

SAN DIEGO - The Alameda County Coroner confirmed the identity of the human remains found over the weekend as missing nursing student Michelle Le, police announced Monday.

Hayward Police Department did not release how the coroner's office came to the conclusion that the decomposed body found in Niles Canyon on Saturday morning was Le.

Although the identity has been released, the cause and manner of her death has yet to be determined, police said.  Forensic pathology examinations will give more insight into the investigation of Le's death. 

In a statement, the Le famiy said, "Thank you for your support, prayers and thoughts. Our family has greatly appreciated, and would be at a loss, without the help of so many people and volunteers."

The Le family said they were preparing a memorial service to give Le "a proper goodbye."

The body was discovered about 10:30 a.m. by member of a search party made up of family members and volunteers looking for 26-year-old Le, who went missing in May.

Investigators said Saturday it could not immediately be determined whether the body was that of Le. Because of the condition of the remains, not even the gender could be discerned, according to a news release by the Hayward police.

Le, who grew up in San Diego County, disappeared May 27 after she left a Hayward hospital where she was training to retrieve something from her car. A woman who went to high school with Le in San Diego, Giselle Esteban, was arrested last week in connection with her disappearance.

Esteban had been a person of interest in the investigation because she had blamed Le for ruining her relationship with her boyfriend, authorities said. Investigators also said they found Le's DNA on one of Esteban's shoes, along with evidence that she had been in Le's car and security camera footage of Esteban from the Hayward parking lot.