NEW HAVEN, Connecticut—It wasn't until five days after her disappearance that members of the state police crime squad, with the assistance of a cadaver dog, discovered her fully clothed body. She was wearing the same clothes seen in a video of her entering the building last week, a source said.
Police had to remove part of the wall in a laboratory to get access to the crawl space. The source said that evidence recovered from the crime scene indicated that Le was killed in a different room in the basement and then moved to a second room where the crawl space was.
The source said that tiny droplets of blood were found in one of the laboratory rooms where police now believe that the slaying took place. The blood is being analyzed at the state forensic laboratory. Authorities also are trying to determine if Le was sexually assaulted.
Because there is limited access to the research laboratory, investigators were able to determine relatively quickly who was in the building when Le disappeared. Le was last seen about 10 a.m. Tuesday morning entering the building. She never left.
FBI agents interviewed anyone who had access to the lab and gave many of them polygraph tests. Sources said the lab technician failed at least one polygraph test.
Investigators didn't lock down the building until the weekend, meaning that people walked around and possibly through the potential crime scene for four days.
Investigators had attempted to bring a cadaver dog into the building earlier in the week, but because of the large number of animals in the laboratory, the dogs were unable to do a thorough search.
Le, from Placerville, Calif., was to have been married Sunday in Syosset, N.Y., to Jonathan Widawsky, a graduate student at Columbia University in New York. Police have said that he is not a suspect and is helping with the investigation.
Authorities have been watching Clark's Middletown apartment for two days. Late Tuesday, television camera crews and other members of the media clogged the street around the Wharfside Commons apartment complex in the city's North End.
Ivan Hernandez, 22, lives in the apartment directly above Clark's. "He was a quiet man," Hernandez said late Tuesday night. "It's crazy to think that something serious like that was right below me." Hernandez said that Clark, whom he did not know by name, had lived there since before Hernandez moved in seven months ago. "I would see him sitting in front or walking to the car with his girl," Hernandez said. "He was just really quiet."
On Tuesday, a local pastor, the Rev. Dennis Smith, read a statement from the Le and Widawsky families. He thanked the Yale community, saying on behalf of the families: "Our loss would have been immeasurably more difficult to deal with without your support." He said their thanks go out to everyone in the Yale community, from President Richard Levin, to students, to the Vietnamese Student Association. He said that the families also wanted to thank the FBI and the state, New Haven and Yale police departments.
Smith, standing on the steps of Woodbridge Hall on Wall Street before a media throng, left without taking questions. The church of which he is pastor was not identified.
Le was reported missing Tuesday evening by her roommate. Yale police called in the FBI to assist in the initial investigation. At first, police were unsure if Le had just gotten cold feet and didn't want to get married or had been the victim of a crime.
At least two searches of the building were conducted without finding her. On Saturday, police did find some blood-stained clothing hidden in a ceiling panel in one of the laboratories. It is unclear if the clothes are connected to the crime.
In the hunt for potential evidence, authorities set up a makeshift triage center behind the Amistad Street building, and investigators wearing full-body suits and masks shifted through bags of medical waste removed from the building.
Investigators also searched the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority's trash facility on Maxim Road in Hartford over the weekend trying to find trash that might already have left the Yale building.
The building at 10 Amistad St. is part of the university medical school complex about a mile from Yale's main campus and is accessible to Yale personnel with identification cards.
A network of about 75 video surveillance cameras are trained on every door.
Courant staff writers Josh Kovner, Alaine Griffin, Dave Altimari, Hilda Muñoz, Matthew Kauffman, Jeffrey B. Cohen and Stephen Busemeyer contributed to this story.