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Annie Le's Fiance Mourns Yale Student's Murder

(Facebook Photo)
Photo: Annie Le

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBS/AP) She was a bright, vivacious, ambitious dynamo whose death cheated those who loved her.

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That is how slain Yale University graduate student Annie Le, whose body was discovered on the day she was to be married, was remembered Wednesday night at her fiance's synagogue.

"Instead of celebrating a wedding, we are memorializing a life," said Lauren Widawsky, the younger sister of Jonathan Widawsky, the fiance of Annie Le.

In an hourlong service attended by about 300 people at Temple Beth El, clergy, friends and relatives lamented the loss of Le, 24. She and Widawsky were to be married Sept. 13 by the synagogue's cantor at a nearby catering hall on Long Island.

(AP Photo)
Annie Le Vigil Sept. 14, 2009

That's the day her body was found stuffed behind the wall in the basement of a Yale research building where she worked. Raymond Clark III, a technician who worked in the lab, has been charged with her murder. Police have said they don't know a motive for the slaying.

On Wednesday night, a large portrait of Le smiled out at the congregation, who heard stories about her academic success, sense of humor, ambition, love for shoe shopping and perhaps most importantly, her love for her fiance.

"What girl would ever let Jonathan cut her hair?," Lauren Widawsky asked. Le did.

Later, Lauren fought back tears as she spoke directly to Le in the form of a letter. "We all miss you, we love you and you will be in our hearts forever."

Cantor Sandra Sherry noted Le was so looking forward to her wedding and had even made the beaded veil for the ceremony. She said the hundreds who attended the service did so "to support Jonathan, a young man who has had to experience a loss so early in his life."

The couple was to have honeymooned in Greece, she said.

Janet Widawsky recalled her future daughter-in-law cherishing the plans for her upcoming wedding, as well as her life with Jonathan, also 24. She said Le was an animal lover who once rescued a group of abandoned kittens on Long Island and took one of them back by train to her home in New Haven, Conn.

(Personal Photo)
Photo: Raymond Clark III in a MySpace image.

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Photos: Raymond Clark & Fiancée in Love
Photos: Yale Holds Vigil for Slain Student
Photos: Student Found Dead on Wedding Day

"Annie was a passionate young scientist who wanted to save the world," she said. "A life cut too short."

Le was a doctoral pharmacology student who worked on a team that experimented on mice as part of research into enzymes that could have implications for treatment of cancer, diabetes and muscular dystrophy.

Investigators returned to the campus research building in New Haven on Wednesday to examine potential new evidence, said Officer Joseph Avery, a police spokesman. Authorities do not expect to make more arrests.

A former high school girlfriend of the lab technician who has been charged said Wednesday that Clark was extremely controlling, telling her what clothes she could wear, where she could go and what friends she could have.

Delrocco said Wednesday that Clark would get very angry and "physical" with her, to the point where she was frightened. She declined to elaborate on any physical confrontations.

One of Clark's lawyers, public defender Beth Merkin, declined to comment Wednesday.

An animal lab technician at Yale since 2004, Clark cleaned floors and mouse cages. Some of Clark's co-workers have described him as rigidly enforcing the rules in the lab where research mice were caged.

Le's funeral is set for Saturday in El Dorado Hills, Calif., near her hometown of Placerville.

Photos: Who is Raymond Clark III?
Photos: Raymond Clark & Fiancée in Love
Photos: Yale Holds Vigil for Slain Student
Photos: Student Found Dead on Wedding Day


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September 17, 2009 - Raymond Clark III Arraigned in Annie Le Murder
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September 17, 2009 - Raymond Clark III Arrested in Killing of Yale Graduate Student Annie Le
September 16, 2009 - Andrew Cohen: Relax, It's Early in Annie Le Investigation
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