(CBS/KPIX/AP) HAYWARD, Calif. - Officials have determined that badly decomposed human remains discovered over the weekend in a California canyon are those of Michelle Le, the missing nursing student who disappeared in May while taking a school break.
Hayward police on Monday said tests by the Alameda County coroner on the remains confirmed they were those of the 26-year-old Le. Police said the coroner has not yet determined Le's cause or manner of death and declined to release any further information.
Police suspect Le's former friend Giselle Esteban, 27, attacked Le in the parking garage of the hospital where she was doing a clinical rotation. Esteban knew Le in high school in San Diego and was arrested earlier this month and charged with murder. She has not yet entered a plea.
On Saturday, police and volunteer searchers discovered the human remains off a dirt trail in a rugged San Francisco Bay area canyon. Police said cell phone signals from Le and Esteban had been received from the area.
In a statement, Le family spokeswoman Krystine Dinh acknowledged receiving the news and thanked police and others who helped search for Michelle.
"Tonight, our family has been notified that this weekend, we have found Michelle," Dinh said in an e-mail. "Please continue praying for and supporting Michelle as our family begins the journey to ensure justice in her honor."
At the time of her May 27 disappearance, Le was working on a bachelor's degree program at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, combining classroom work with clinical training.
Her family said she decided to go into nursing because she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother.