Tonight’s episode of Dateline NBC will focus on the disappearance and murder of Michelle Le. Le was a 26-year-old nursing student who lived in San Francisco.
Le disappeared from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward, California on May 27, 2011. Her body was located in September 2011.
Though Le’s body was not immediately located, investigators said early on in the investigation that the evidence pointed toward homicide. The evidence included a forensic examination from her car and the parking garage as well as video evidence from the garage.
Giselle Diwag Esteban Was Sentenced to 25 Years to Life
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) July 10, 2020
Esteban and Le attended high school together in San Diego, California, and cell phone records showed that their cell phones “traveled on a similar path” following Le’s disappearance.
Esteban was arrested on September 7, 2011 and charged with the murder of Le, though her body had not been located yet. Authorities at the time said that there was enough evidence to convict Esteban.
The evidence came in the form of DNA in blood stains found in Le’s car and on Esteban’s shoe as well as a security video confirming Esteban’s presence in the area where Le disappeared.
A Judge Told Esteban She May Never Be Paroled
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) July 9, 2020
According to Patch.com, during Esteban’s sentencing, a judge warned her that she may never be paroled if she shows no remorse for the murder of her former friend.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson said that he had never seen any remorse from Esteban.
“I hope someday you can develop a sense of remorse because this was a crime with many victims,” the judge said, referring to Le’s family.
Prosecutors argued that Esteban murdered Le because she believed that Le was in a relationship with Scott Marasigan, who was the father of Esteban’s daughter. Marasigan said that he was friends with Le, but he was unable to convince Esteban that he was no longer romantically involved with Le.
Troubling text messages sent to Marasigan by Esteban came out during the trial and included many threats to Le’s life.
Esteban’s attorney, Andrea Auer, did not argue that her client did not kill Le. Instead, she acknowledged that Esteban did kill her but argued that it was not first-degree murder and was instead voluntary manslaughter. She argued that Le provoked Esteban and then Esteban murdered her “in the heat of passion.”
The prosecution argued that Esteban had planned the murder months in advance and said they had tapes of Esteban “laughing and talking about killing people,” according to Daily Mail.
At the time of the murder, Esteban was pregnant, and she gave birth to her child in prison. Her first daughter was 6 years old at the time.
Tune in to Dateline NBC on Friday, July 10 at 9 p.m. to learn more about Michelle Le’s disappearance and murder.