Body Found Assumed to Be Missing Yale Bride Annie Le
Police "assuming" body found in wall of lab to be missing Yale bride Annie Le.
Sept. 13, 2009— -- Investigators searching for missing Yale graduate student Annie Le found what they believe to be the girl's remains in a wall of a Yale laboratory, police said tonight.
"We did locate the remains of a human. ... We are assuming that it is her at this time," New Haven assistant police chief Peter Reichard told reporters in a brief press conference. Police are treating the case as a homicide, Reichard said.
Le was to be married today.
The body was found shortly after 5 p.m. in the wall of the Yale Amistad Street research laboratory where Le was last seen Tuesday, police said. On video surveillance, Le was seen entering the lab, but not leaving.
The find could end a massive search by state and federal authorities that expanded today to a Connecticut waste-processeing facility in addition to the Yale lab in the hopes of finding clues to her mysterious disappearance.
Using cadaver-sniffing dogs in round-the-clock shifts, FBI agents and state troopers dressed in hazardous-material suits began searching the facility in Hartford late Saturday night.
Yale president Richard Levin announced the discovery in a letter to the university's staff and students tonight.
"It is my tragic duty to report that the body of a female was found in the basement of the Amistad Building late this afternoon. The identity of the woman has not yet been established," Levin's letter said. "Law enforcement officials remain on the scene; this is an active investigation, and we hope it is resolved quickly."
Le and fiance Jonathan Widawsky were to be married today at a ceremony on Long Island, N.Y. Wedding gifts were left outside Widawky's family's home.
Earlier today, investigators said they were examining items recovered from inside the lab building, but did not confirm published reports that those items included bloody clothing, reportedly found inside the ceiling of the lab.
The mystery of Le's disappearance intensified Saturday when FBI agents said that surveillance video showed Le entering the Amistad Building on Yale's campus, but despite there being more than 70 cameras in and around the building, there was no video of her ever leaving.
Le was due to marry Jonathan Widawsky today, which had originally led to questions about whether the 24-year-old pharmacology student had gotten cold feet and ran away, or whether she was the victim of foul play.
In an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America" Saturday, a friend of Le's who came to New York to attend the wedding said the bride-to-be was excited about getting married and would not have run away to avoid the wedding.
"Everything was good. There was nothing that would make us believe that she was having second thoughts or anything like that," said Vanessa Flores, a close friend and former roommate of Le's.
"She's a very conscientious person. This thing has been planned for more than a year, and she was just very excited about it," Flores said.
The Long Island wedding was canceled just as more than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement officials descended on the university, pouring over video footage from some 75 cameras near where Le was last seen.
"They are going frame by frame, looking at every image," Yale spokesman Tom Conroy told The Associated Press.
Police scanned blueprints of the lab and brought in blood sniffing dogs, paying particular attention to the building's basement.
Yale has also offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Le's whereabouts.