Graduate student reported missing

The Yale Police Department says Annie Le GRD ’13, pictured above, has not been seen or heard from since Tuesday morning.
The Yale Police Department says Annie Le GRD ’13, pictured above, has not been seen or heard from since Tuesday morning. Photo by Office ofPublicAffairs.

A 24-year-old graduate student at the Yale School of Medicine has been missing for more than 24 hours, and the Yale Police Department is asking for help in finding her.

The Yale Police Department says Annie Le MED ’13, of Placerville, Calif., has not been seen or heard from since Tuesday morning. Yale Deputy University Secretary Martha Highsmith said there is no evidence to suggest foul play but declined to elaborate further, saying she would not comment on an ongoing investigation.

In this surveillance photograph distributed by the Yale Police Department, Annie Le GRD '13 is seen entering 10 Amistad St. on Tuesday morning, when she was last seen.
Office ofPublicAffairs
In this surveillance photograph distributed by the Yale Police Department, Annie Le GRD '13 is seen entering 10 Amistad St. on Tuesday morning, when she was last seen.

A surveillance photograph distributed by the Yale Police Department shows Le entering the University-owned research facility at 10 Amistad St. on Tuesday morning. She has not been seen or heard from since, according to the YPD.

She is described as a 4’11” Asian female with straight brown shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. Le was last seen wearing a knee-length brown skirt, a bright green short-sleeved T-shirt, brown shoes and a brown necklace, the YPD said. She does not have access to a car.

Le started her Tuesday morning working in the Sterling Hall of Medicine, where her lab was located, Yale Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer said. Le left the lab around 10 a.m. to walk to the 10 Amistad St. three blocks away, where she frequently went to conduct experiments, Lorimer said.

Le, who according to her Facebook page is scheduled to be married on Sunday, left her purse containing her cell phone, credit cards and money in her office in SHM, Lorimer said. She brought her Yale ID card with her, Lorimer said, in order to gain access to 10 Amistad St.

School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern said he was notified about Le’s disappearance late yesterday afternoon, just before the department of pharmacology met and was briefed on the on-going investigation.

“The biggest thing we’re worried about right now is ‘is she okay?’” he said.

Alpern added that her disappearance raises a number of concerns including, but not limited to, whether the medical school is taking enough measures to ensure the safety of its students. Still, he cautioned that until administrators know what happened to Le, it is difficult to know what they should be concerned about.

Pharmacology Department chair Joseph Schlessinger said he first learned of Le’s disappearance from her faculty advisor Anton Bennett, an assistant professor in the pharmacology department. A 2007 graduate of the University of Rochester, Le is studying for a Ph.D. in pharmacology and molecular medicine.

Schlessinger said that Bennett e-mailed him yesterday around noon informing him that Le had not come in to work and that no one knew where she was. Police confiscated all of Le’s materials from the Anton Bennet Lab in the Sterling Hall Department of Pharmacology, where she worked.

“We know nothing. We are just concerned. We are like her parents,” he said.

The Yale Police have contacted the FBI for assistance in the search, FBI supervisory special agent Bill Reiner said.

Anyone with information on Le’s whereabouts is asked to contact the YPD at (203) 432-4400.

Paul Needham contributed reporting.

Comments

  • Concerned Grad Student

    Why is it that if a purse gets snatched, we learn about it in two hours, but if a person is missing for 48hours there is still no notice. The Yale Police is incompetent beyond measure.

  • genetics grad student

    Why isn’t the yale community being notified via email by our useless Chief Perrotti? Someone may know something that will crack the case, please spread the word…

  • Undergrad

    This is very sad. My thoughts and wishes for her safe return go out to her friends, fiance and family.

  • @#1

    Maybe because, in *general*, the difference between going “missing” and going “on holiday” are so slight. The movements of students are not monitored: people travel, skip class, skip town, whatever. Babysitting is not a cop job and we are not, as of yet, a surveillance society (a la the UK).

    In this *particular* case, one does wonder where are the basset hounds of the K-9 team. BTW: why to you indict the *Yale* police? A missing person report would likely be better pursued by local (i.e., New Haven) police, no? Better yet: I would think that state police would have better tracking resources than either Yale or New Haven.

    Yes, this is an unsettling event–and I wish sincerely for a happy outcome–but please keep your wits about you rather than flying off the handle at convenient targets merely because the results you seek are slow in coming.

  • Concerned Yalie

    It is indeed sad to read the knee-jerk comment made by someone who seems to be a Yale Police Officer. If this is not the type of case Yale Police should be working on 24X7, searching every nook and cranny in the immediate area and interviewing everyone to find out if anyone saw anything, what purpose does the YPD serves? Where are they normally? Shouldn’t they be posted at all strategic locations so that students feel safe and can call out immediately if they need help? Usually, students have to call and stay put until an officer shows up some long time later.

    The money spent to maintain YPD would be better spent expanding the NHPD so that they can post highly trained officers on the Yale Campus. Having a YPD is a waste of scarce resources.

    Saying Britain is a surviellance society simple demonstrates that you are ill-informed; try and get your facts straight. The USA is much more of a spied-upon society than Britain. In Britain, when needed, surviellance is done for good reasons; in the USA it is done mainly for political & malicious reasons. How much do you know about the political and civic history of the USA? Clearly, not much at all. It should be required that police officers be civics literate.

    I sincerely hope that those who are capable do everything in their power to find this young woman. My prayers and best wishes are with her parents and friends. I sincerely hope that she will be found soon and that she will be safe. There are too many demented people who hang out near school and college campuses. The YPD should be on patrol on their feet and be much more visibly.

  • @#5 – Part 1

    “It is indeed sad to read the knee-jerk comment made by someone who seems to be a Yale Police Officer.”

    Not a PO, nor was my comment “knee jerk” (I specified first the general and then the specific arguments).

    “If this is not the type of case Yale Police should be working on 24X7…what purpose does the YPD serves?”

    The letter from University Police Chief James Perrotti that you received states: “Yale police, the FBI, Connecticut State Police and New Haven police are investigating Le’s disappearance. Her friends, colleagues, family members and fiance are assisting police… The State Police have searched the area of Ms. Le’s last known appearance with their bloodhounds; law enforcement officers are continuing to undertake detailed searches of the surrounding area; and security officials are reviewing images from closed-circuit cameras in the area.”

    What more would you like?

    “Shouldn’t they be posted at all strategic locations so that students feel safe and can call out immediately if they need help?”

    You mean, as in a police state? I have no doubt that many (perhaps you?) would immediately decry such a society, likely calling “racism” on such a police presence in a high-percentage minority city.

    “The money spent to maintain YPD would be better spent expanding the NHPD so that they can post highly trained officers on the Yale Campus.”

    Really? I suspect that the arrest rate would skyrocket–something that most students would dislike. YPD is much friendlier, in my experience, to Yalies than is NHPD. Further, given that they are focused on Yale students, Yalies are much better protected than the average New Haven resident.

    “Having a YPD is a waste of scarce resources.”

    You are studying economics? You are fully involved with Yale’s deployment of its “scarce resources?” Its endowment? Its operating budget? Its revenues and expenses? Its labor obligations and negotiations?

    “Saying Britain is a surviellance society simple demonstrates that you are ill-informed; try and get your facts straight.”

    In 2006, Britain maintained 1 surveillance camera for every 14 citizens. I have no doubt the ratio is higher now. Indeed, the Surveillance Studies Network predicts that by 2016 shoppers could be scanned as they enter stores, schools could bring in cards allowing parents to monitor what their children eat, and jobs may be refused to applicants who are seen as a health risk.

    In a recent report, Dr. David Murakami-Wood states that compared to other industrialized Western states, the UK was “the most surveilled country” with “more CCTV cameras” and “looser laws on privacy and data protection” than other Western nations.

  • @#5 – Part 2

    “The USA is much more of a spied-upon society than Britain. In Britain, when needed, surviellance is done for good reasons; in the USA it is done mainly for political & malicious reasons.”

    Care to discourse on what is “good”? Now that Obama is President, would you be supportive of efforts to monitor what you might deem “right wing extremists” (such as military veterans, gun owners, and Constitutionalists)?

    “How much do you know about the political and civic history of the USA? Clearly, not much at all.”

    This statement is based on…? I think that you would find my training, experience, and “credentials” satisfactory.

    “It should be required that police officers be civics literate.”

    I have absolutely no doubt that police officers have a better understanding of US law and individual rights than most Yalies.

    “There are too many demented people who hang out near school and college campuses.”

    I find this statement to be edging dangerously close to racism, especially given that the “demented” people to whom you refer are far more likely to be members of an underrepresented minority group. But, given that you are ready to throw out the law at the drop of a hat, I should not be surprised that you would throw out civil rights, too.

    “The YPD should be on patrol on their feet and be much more visibly.”

    YPD patrols on foot, on bicycle, on motorcycle, and in other vehicles. Blue phones ubiquitous. Yale offers shuttles and escorts. Yale is in an urban setting; students are adults (at least legally) and demand to be treated as such. The “special” treatment you demand would soon be found unfavorable by the vast–and certainly the most vocal–proportion of students.

    The US in general–and Yale, in particular–offer strong protections of individual freedoms. That you demand the dismantling all of the rights, concessions, and “progress” made on campus and in society over the years speaks more to your emotional maturity than any analytical abilities (or understanding of “civic history”). Try to keep your emotions from running away from you in this difficult time; perhaps you could channel your emotional energy into joining a student-led search effort?

    I state again: this is an unsettling event–and I wish sincerely for a happy outcome. We should not assume the worst–and we should hope for the best–but we must let the authorities carry out their duties, and let them do so within the laws, rights, and protections afforded to all citizens. As noted early in this post: rest assured that all available resources are on the job (resources of a scale, I might point out, that would likely never be spent on your average New Haven resident).

    I do, however, agree with you completely on one special point: My prayers and best wishes are with her parents and friends. I sincerely hope that she will be found soon and that she will be safe.

  • stuff it perotti

    ok pal, nice monologue. you clearly have an interest to defend YPD. what is seriously important is that this girl is returned safe, and if you and your YPD pals are more concerned about your reputation on online bloggs rather than doing actual police work to find her, then you should be fired and shamed as a ‘public servant’

  • Linda in the Red House

    Oh my gosh!

    All this crazy discourse on spying and political mayhem.
    The issue is where is Le and is she OK?
    My prayers for her safety and strength will be continuous until she returns. To her family go the same thoughts. I know her family well, she is a brilliant and common sense girl with everything in the world at her doorstep. It is with a heavy heart and great expectations that I await the good news of her return.

  • in reply to #7

    #7 writes: “YPD patrols on foot, on bicycle, on motorcycle, and in other vehicles. Blue phones ubiquitous. Yale offers shuttles and escorts. Yale is in an urban setting; students are adults (at least legally) and demand to be treated as such. The “special” treatment you demand would soon be found unfavorable by the vast–and certainly the most vocal–proportion of students.”

    Unfortunately, you simply can’t compare the amount of security between the undergrad campus and the medical campus. YPD needs to seriously address the security on the medical campus, especially considering that it is the most isolated area with least amount of visible surveillance. In addition, it is not uncommon for students at the grad school and the med school to have to access the research/clinical facilities at all hours of the day…so improvement in security is warranted.

  • guest

    I’m praying for Le’s safe return. I find it odd that the authorities have not been able to contact her parents….

  • Med student

    Reply to #6
    You stated: “Further, given that they are focused on Yale students (YPD), Yalies are much better protected than the average New Haven resident”
    I should hope so! I pay over $50,000 a year to get this extra protection, New Haven residents don’t.

  • response to #11

    They have contacted her parents and other relatives.

  • C Chen

    It broke my heart every time I see news of missing persons. Isn’t there a saying that a society is as strong as how well it takes care of its weaker citizens? If any place, can any Yale electronic genius figure out a way for children;females and seniors to wear something on their bodies like a third eye? a reverse GPS that shape like a pendant or body rings but not as drastic as microchips implants? A push of button will show when, how; suspects’ pic and trails thru instant satellite. With such devic, it can deter and protect. I will sign up for this Hensel & Gretel technology first thing @ any cost. Entrepreneurs, think of the potential windfalls in our crime-ridden society from loved ones.

  • What’s With The Blame

    @#12:

    “I pay over $50,000 a year to get this extra protection”

    Um…no, you really don’t.

    So we have a grad student abducted. Of course it’s a terrible thing, but terrible things happen all the time. Do we blame the police every time a crime occurs? Is it their fault that not every purse-snatcher or criminal is punished? No – it’s a natural consequence of the REAL WORLD, where we have limited time and resources and where the bad guys don’t always go around spewing DNA all over the place like in CSI.

    I hope Annie is found safe and sound, and if not my sympathies are with those who knew her and were close to her. That said, please don’t use her as an excuse to complain about something.

  • Resources

    “More than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement personnel were involved in the investigation into Tuesday’s disappearance of Annie Le, said Yale spokesman Tom Conroy.”

    Wow. You think anyone from The Hill would get such treatment? Would anyone even notice were someone missing?

  • @#4

    Thank you for interjecting some sense. Yes resources can be better allocated where security is concerned – but New Haven is also an exceptionally dangerous city to begin with and this situation, when read carefully, reveals that the police were on it in no time. They also called in State PD and the FBI in short order.

  • is hurt & upset

    Your Yale Daily News did print in one the articles the missing girls dad making a plea to find his baby ( could have been another news agency)

    I do hope she is someplace alive and well. pleading with a relative over her upcoming marriage. With a paramour perhaps. Home laughing at your foibles.

    Just not in the passenger seat or in the back of a conversion van driving around bleeding and yelling at first then just whimpering as the vehicle passes the police and the driver waves . Up hill and down hill. Some sick psycho wack job who feels he is proving his worth to the Mayor and /or your beloved Town Chair. Or some slight over the years

  • numismatic

    If you want protection then hire a personal guard, you can not depend on the police to be everywhere they are people as well most people do not realize this but lets stick to the story she is missing not found hurt or dead, I am sorry for this matter but I am a little hurt about the fact that she is a person who was doing something with her life. She is a priority if I had the money or someone would pay for me to come there I would come myself and help find her this is insane that the whole community is not looking for clues or something to help answer this young ladies disappearance. I have never seen such people looking through trash. Here is a clue if a alarm was set off in the building what ever happened there they obviously removed her from the building making a distraction. I better send the local Yale Police a Sherlock Holmes movie.

    Peace, and I pray that someone finds her untouched and not hurt.. because there are to many situations going on around our country that we need to take notice we have a problem in America. We need to fix our own country before we try to fix everything elsewhere, I am praying as well for that man she was engaged to because I am sure he had been accused and looked at funny and this is a stressful situation for him as well as missing his fiance.

  • SonnyRice

    How many of our children and women must die or disappear before we stand up to protect them. It seems to be a problem that will not go away by ignoring . I call upon each and every citizen to “ Stand With ME “ and do the right thing.
    We outnumber the bad in this country in all but the willingness to get involved. The low life’s count on us not getting together. They operate in the day light as well as in the dark without any apparent fear. They come in all sizes, ages, colors, all incomes, yet no one sees them. We look away and hope they don’t see us. We turn blind and deaf as they prey on our society. We no longer know who our neighbors by name. Fear fills our streets, schools, and public parks for both the young and the old.
    I say it is the bad ones who should live in fear. Stand with each other and take back our country. Stand with me and I will help you be strong. Every person that helps another, helps themselves. Go out and greet your neighbors so a stranger stands out from the crowd. Watch out for all our loved ones so we are no longer prey.
    Stand with me America so our country can be safe. I can’t be by your side everyday so please stand together. I can’t be everywhere but you can.
    You are all stronger then the bad. No bully can face a crowd. No thief can steal what all eyes are on. No child can be harmed if we all listen and see. No woman can be harmed if people are there to render aide. No one old or young can suffer if we all stand together.
    I call upon you my fellow Americans to return control of this great land. I will be there for you, so please be there for each other. Be the human being and let us put the animals in a cage. No vigilantes, only citizens doing what is right. If we fill the jails we will build more of them. If we save one person the cost will balance out. Are you willing to live a better life now. Stand with me America, I can not do it alone.

    Stand up with me, and America will be free. Stand side by side, against all who don’t abide.
    Stand up against all crimes, and we will live in the best of times.
    Stand up at home with all your might, a family united is worth the fight.
    Stand up for the weak, and together we can have the life we seek.
    Stand up for the young and old, for together we may all be bold.
    Stand up against everything wrong, Stand as one and be strong.
    Stand together and end all pain, Stand united and we all gain.
    Stand against bullies and thieves, Stand deaf to he who deceives.
    Stand up with me as a proud American, and honestly do all that you can.
    Contact me ernieiii@hotmail.com – Together we are strong – Let us work together America.

  • Med Student

    Response to #15
    Um…YES, I really do. And Annie DESERVES the extensive search for her!!! Please, if you do not want to comment respectfully about the situation then leave your narrow minded comments to yourself. By your reply I assume you are not a Yalie.

  • concerned

    The medical area is filled with tunnels that connect all areas through the school and hospital. This is going to take a lot of time to search. I’m sure the PD and FBI are aware of the tunnels and are looking. My only concern is someone didnt place in injured in one of the tunnels they are creepy to say the least

  • @#21

    “Annie DESERVES the extensive search…”

    Not saying she doesn’t, but does she deserve it more than any other New Haven resident?

    Why would a Yalie deserve state & federal investigators any more than would any run-of-the-mill N’Havener?

  • concerned also

    #10 Amistad is one of only buildings not connected by tunnels. It’s a new building that was completed about 3 years ago.

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