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Archive for Sunday, September 13, 2009

Items seized in missing student case

September 13, 2009

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— Potential evidence has been seized from the building where a Yale University graduate student was last seen before she vanished days ahead of her wedding, authorities said Saturday.

Items that could be evidence are being analyzed but none has yet been associated with Annie Le, FBI spokeswoman Kim Mertz said at a news conference.

“I will categorically say a body has not been found,” Mertz said. “Items that could potentially be evidence have been seized. None have yet been associated with Annie Le at this time.”

Mertz would not confirm reports that the items found included bloody clothing.

Le was last seen Tuesday at a university laboratory. She swiped her identification card to enter the building Tuesday morning, but authorities have found no record of her leaving, despite some 75 surveillance cameras that cover the complex.

Authorities said they still have not determined whether Le’s disappearance is a criminal case.

“We don’t know where she is. We don’t know what happened to her,” Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said. “We don’t know if a crime was committed or not.”

Investigators, having already gone through the videos once, continued to review the surveillance tapes frame-by-frame Saturday to see if they overlooked Le, who could have changed into a laboratory coat or other clothes before leaving the building. Mertz said the review included video enhancement being conducted by state police.

“I do not know that it’s definitive that she has left the building at this point,” Mertz said.

On Saturday, investigators took what appeared to be blueprints to the building. FBI agents were also spotted questioning a man outside the lab. When they finished talking, the man got in the front seat of the unmarked car and an FBI agent got in the back seat. The car then drove away.

Yale is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Le’s whereabouts.

Le, who’s of Asian descent, stands 4-foot-11 and weighs 90 pounds. Her purse, cell phone, credit cards and money were found in her office.

Officials say there’s no evidence of foul play.

Le, originally from Placerville, Calif., was set to get married today at the North Ritz Club in Syosset, N.Y., on the north shore of Long Island. Workers at the club say the wedding was canceled Friday.

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