FBI: Student’s body has not been found

University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer speaks to reporters outside Woodbridge Hall on Saturday regarding the disappearance of Annie Le GRD '13.
University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer speaks to reporters outside Woodbridge Hall on Saturday regarding the disappearance of Annie Le GRD '13. Photo by Harrison Korn.

Reports that Annie Le’s GRD ’13 body was recovered from the lab where she was last seen Tuesday are untrue, law enforcement officials said Saturday.

At a press conference outside Woodbridge Hall this evening, officials from the University and law enforcement agencies also confirmed that evidence had been retrieved from the research facility at 10 Amistad St., but said that it had not yet been tied to Le. A New Haven Police Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said earlier today that bloody clothes and other items had been retrieved from a ceiling in the building, and two Yale Police Department officers said that 10 Amistad St. is now the site of a crime scene.

Kimberly Mertz, a special agent with the FBI, addresses reporters outside Woodbridge Hall on Saturday as University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer, at right, looks on.
Kimberly Mertz, a special agent with the FBI, addresses reporters outside Woodbridge Hall on Saturday as University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer, at right, looks on.
The Yale Police Department and the FBI, led in Connecticut by Special Agent Kimberly Mertz, above, are running the investigation into the disappearance of Annie Le GRD '13.
The Yale Police Department and the FBI, led in Connecticut by Special Agent Kimberly Mertz, above, are running the investigation into the disappearance of Annie Le GRD '13.
Reporters at the press conference outside Woodbridge Hall regarding the disappearance of Annie Le GRD '13.
Reporters at the press conference outside Woodbridge Hall regarding the disappearance of Annie Le GRD '13.
Camera crews lined the sidewalk in front of 10 Amistad St. on Saturday.
Camera crews lined the sidewalk in front of 10 Amistad St. on Saturday.
No caption.
No caption.

Still, authorities at the press conference said there was no evidence of foul play in Le’s disappearance.

“We are not in the position today to conclude whether this is a missing person case, or whether criminality is involved,” FBI Special Agent Kim Mertz said. “We have conducted numerous interviews, and I can assure you no lead is going uncovered.”

Media reports emerged on Saturday afternoon that Le’s body had been found inside the Amistad Street building. Those reports were quickly dismissed.

“I will categorically say a body has not been found,” Mertz said

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 10 Amistad St. three blocks away, where she frequently went to conduct experiments, Lorimer said. A surveillance photograph distributed by the YPD shows Le entering the building at 10 Amistad St. on Tuesday morning. University officials have yet to locate Le exiting the building.

Mertz said Saturday that authorities have spoken to “numerous people” who saw Le inside the facility at 10 Amistad St. but declined to give any further details.

A fire alarm that sounded in the Amistad Street facility at 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday is thought to have been a false alarm, Mertz said. Someone working in the lab produced steam that tripped the alarm, she said.

Yale officials have said it could be difficult to pick out Le, who is 4-feet-11-inches and weighs some 90 pounds, in the footage of the subsequent evacuation. Some officials have suggested that Le may have changed into a lab coat while in the building, which would make it even harder to identify her.

Le, who was scheduled to be married on Sunday, left her purse containing her cell phone, credit cards and money in her office in Sterling, Lorimer said. Her wedding has since been canceled.

Le’s family and fiance, Columbia University graduate student Jonathan Widawsky, are cooperating with the investigation. Officials asked that the media respect the family’s privacy.

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.

As part of that investigation, FBI agents undertook several complete sweeps of 10 Amistad St., bringing in bloodhounds and even combing through trash in a dumpster outside the building. They searched Le’s apartment at 188 Lawrence St. as well as her computer and phone for clues. As the search perimeter expanded, agents also searched medical school buildings in the surrounding area.

Anyone with information pertaining to Le’s disappearance is asked to call the FBI tip line at 1-877-503-1950.

Victor Zapana and Colin Ross contributed reporting.

Comments

  • yale11

    Let us all hope that Miss Le is found safe and unharmed. Condolences to her family and fiance. I cannot imagine what they are going through right now.

  • gary smith

    I’m not getting a good vibe from this, (bloody clothes found) I can and will pray for her……

  • Joe

    It should be confirmed by now that a crime took place in the building. If they only found bloody clothing in a ceiling, they should realize someone had the ability to clean up the crime scene. Persons of interest or suspects are those having access to all or most parts of the building and to containers or spaces large enough to conceal and transport a body to another location. Given the diminutive stature of Ms. Le, it wouldn’t require anything out of the ordinary to do this. My guess would be an employee in security, maintenance, or on the cleaning staff victimized Ms. Le. I speculate the crime occurred in one of the women’s restrooms by someone who would have been able to close off such an area and remove any evidence to include Ms. Le.

  • it was so strange

    What was with the weird smiling by Linda Lorimer during the press conference? This is a somber situation.

    She acted as though this were an awards show and she was announcing the nominees.

  • Yale Ph.D. 1970′s

    I agree 100% that Linda Lorimer and the woman from the FBI who appeared at the televised news conference BOTH had a totally inappropriate affect. BOTH seemed perfectly cheerful and much more concerned with public relations than with the tragedy that has, obviously, befallen the Yale community. They might have been trying to protect Yale but their efforts were horribly out of synch with the situation.

  • protectkidz

    i love how FOX salivatingly jumped the gun to be the first to publish that a body was found.

    Re: the demeanor of Lorimer, I didn’t notice that as much as I noticed the angry attitude of Mertz towards the media. They certainly could have just given a statement about the progress and not taken questions if they felt this was not the time to given details.

    I also was somewhat amazed that the first thing they did NOT state was a repudiation of FOX’s gun-jumping. They had to have known that we were all expecting the worst news, and they did not repudiate until they were asked point blank by media if a body had been found.

    Very interesting.

  • a concerned mother

    Her purse containing her cell phone, credit cards and money in her office in Sterling may have been placed and planted there by someone after something terrible happened to Ms. Le. In the video frame showing Ms. Le entering the Amistad St. building, it appears that a purse strap or something similar is on her right shoulder. It means she had her purse with her at Amistad St. I think video frames at Sterling Hall of Medicine also need to be examined to see who might have entered Ms. Le’s office area after 10 a.m. Tuesday.

  • Stop speculating!

    Concerned Mother, Joe, and others:
    The credibility, reputation, and possibly position of the officers working on the situation is at stake, and I’m sure that every situation that can be posed by those of us not directly involved in the investigation has been considered by them. We are not investigators, and as such have no right to pretend that we know anything they do not about this case. Our speculation only worsens the stuation, as if those of us who have followed along on Columbo or CSI believe that we have training that the investigators whose jobs depend on solving this case do not, as if, what, one of them will check this page, read the comment section, and find some angle that hasn’t been considered. Not likely. Let them do their job, and in the meantime, stop pretending and hope that they find answers as swiftly as possible.

  • steph

    Why call a news conference if you don’t intend to inform the public? The Mertz woman was crazy defensive. Talk about zero grace in front of a camera. All they did was confirm that they were working hard on the investigation and basically stood around and gave themselves a bunch of pats on the back. Totally useless.

  • #9

    Reversing the colors of the image of the surveillance photo, one can “almost” see a purse strap on her right shoulder, with a metal buckle (or ring) a few inches below the shoulder (a few inches above an animal she was carrying)

  • Kay

    Yes, I thought what a useless news conference. Maybe it’s for damage control (leaking information), though.

  • protectkidz

    #11: she was carrying an animal? I couldn’t tell what it was.

    re: the possible strap on her shoulder: if so, it could’ve been her laptop. If someone did indeed harm Ms. Le, my opinion is that they would dispose of her personal belongings, not risk getting caught putting them in her other office. It IS surprising, though, for a person to go anywhere without a cellphone, especially so close to her wedding.

    #9: i seriously doubt if any commenters here are thinking that LE will read here and find help – it’s natural for people to give thought to a situation such as this and consider the angles.

  • Mystic

    Was she carrying an animal? No one can figure out what she had in her arms.

  • #11

    Between the animal and her, there was a flat dark object which looked like a purse.

  • #11 is not #9

    She raised her right shoulder to prevent the purse strap from falling off her shoulder while she was walking. Someone transported her purse back to her desk at SHM?

  • thecaptainslady

    The impulse to connect the dots is very strong in a situation as moving as the disappearance of a bright and attractive grad student on the brink of her wedding day. Truth be told, there are not enough dots in the public arena to connect, and perhaps only a few more for police and the FBI. No meaningful image is forthcoming. The press conference no doubt was called to counter the erroneous and irresponsible story in the NY Daily News. If this story had not broken late this afternoon, I doubt there would have been a press conference. Concerning the purse strap, it is possible that something might be slung over Annie’s shoulder. Her body is tilting as if she might have been balancing a purse or backpack. I blew up the photo. It looks as though she is carring a large open book, perhaps a reference manual or bound data. I can see a pen attached to one of the open pages. Remember, she is moving from one lab to another. She would have been carrying whatever she needed to complete her work in the second lab.

  • #11

    Enlarging the image 4×4 times and inverting the colors, one can “almost” see an animal with pointed ears with front limbs on her right arm. The image only showed one pointed ear. Her right hand and left hand were beneath the rear limbs of the animal.

  • speculating ken…

    I agree that someone associated with the building, or very familiar with the lay out, might be involved, at least in the cover-up. I am speculating also that the Yale PD know far more than they are revealing and are playing a much bigger hand than we can see at this point. Strange that her clothes were stashed/concealed and the body not? The small stature means it is quite possible the remains are still in the building, perhaps in the maintenance areas, etc. Just seems odd that if the body was disposed of, why were the clothes left behind? Are there areas of the building without surveillance cameras/devices? Perhaps loading dock, boiler room, air handlers, etc? Also, the fire alarm might have provided the opportunity to remove the body but not the clothes. Perhaps the perpetrator was planning to return later? It would seem unusual for her to leave her personal effects at her office while she was 3 blocks away as well. Especially her cell phone, yet she did have her ID card to gain access to the lab. Couple these issues with the bizarre news conference, and adding Yale’s poor appetite for scandal and I can only conclude a cover-up here. The clothes were left behind and found later because they were not with the body when they found it. I think we need to see the surveillance footage from Tuesday forward, especially during the evening. I bet we will find some gaps in the footage and that’s where we can get a toe-hold on this. I think the body has been found and they crossed a few too many bridges before realizing this would not wash well. Now we are dealing with a strange scenario of how to break the news in a manner that makes any sense at all to the public. This story will have many more twists and turns before we find out who all the players are and it won’t be pretty. This is Yale people – they’ll toss you in the river in tiny pieces if they have too, with law enforcement’s help and blessings. The person responsible probably has a lot of pull as well. How sad that this crime has already been solved and the authorities are helping to abscond the truth. We may never know what happened to this poor child.

  • S

    Oh come on, Yale. Even in a case like this, you still arrange to have your press conference take place in front of the f**king Beineke?

    Also, other posters: enough with the ghoulish fake detective work.

  • Josh

    No reason to think it’s a cover-up. New Haven is a dangerous city, and Yale makes no effort at making sure its students are protected.

    There is no reason they shouldn’t at least have a description of exactly who did this.

    Yale has blood on their hands, and I hope a whole host of people lose their jobs and careers.

  • #11

    It seemed that she was holding a small chihuahua. Its front legs were resting on her right fore-arm. Her right hand was on the belly of the animal and her left hand was on the side.

    re: Laptop strap is usually wider.

  • smitty

    Ironic how Annie Le disappeared days before her wedding. Although authorities not calling the case criminal yet, it is heading that way.

    Person of interest is someone who knew Annie. In stranger acts of violence/robberies, unless premeditated, efforts aren’t made to hide the body. In this case, the person knew Annie.

    This person was either a past jilted lover or someone who was infatuated with her. Or, could be contract killing if her family has crossed organized crime lines. PETA could’ve offed her… perhaps she killed one too many mice! Or, her disappearance and lack of body could be a result of some mutant lab animal on the loose.

  • protectkidz

    media is reporting a landfill being searched this morning.

  • east rock

    To Speculating Ken: They said that they hadn’t connected the bloody clothes to Annie yet. Annie was wearing very distinctive clothing- a green shirt and a brown shirt. If the investigators had found a green shirt or brown skirt, they would have been able to connect it to Annie. So… the bloody clothing they found wasn’t from Annie, but more likely, was from the perpetrator, who changed out of bloody clothes before leaving the building.

    To Concerned Mother: It would have been incredibly unlikely that a perpetrator would commit a crime, and then go through all of the trouble to take Annie’s purse back to her office at Sterling. More likely? That Annie was using her street smarts. I bet that Annie regularly left her purse behind when walking to the other lab building because she didn’t need it there, and so that she wouldn’t be carrying an easy “target” for thieves.

    To #11: It is highly improbable that she was carrying an animal into a lab, particularly an animal that big that wasn’t caged.

  • Observer

    The professor looks like a prime suspect.

    It looks like she left her office, and brought only papers to the lab. Perhaps she was submitting her research proposal, or initial papers to the professor?

    She most likely intended to only drop off these papers. She would not have left her belongings at her office, if she were either signed up for lab work, or going to teach. It looks like she is reviewing or ordering the papers as she walks into the building, on the surveillance video. She would not have had time to do research, before class either.

    So, it looks like she was to be there only briefly.

    Who else was in the lab at the time? Were any of the other students there yet? It is early in the semester, and at 10am, the lab or building might not be at full capacity yet.

    The following is a theory of the events, not implicating anyone in particular, especially as no one has been charged yet, but a view of how the evidence fits together so far:

    One theory is that she went to submit the papers, the professor came on to her, and she rebuffed. Maybe he tried to take advantage of her. If she responded negatively, this would affect his reputation. He may have decided to do away with her because of this. The motive may not have been immediately sexual at that time. This may also have been the case if this was her first semester in the lab, and she was new there. He may have been trying to establish a ‘relationship’ that crossed boundaries.

    If he somehow hurt her, perhaps strangled her, either by thought or just by wrong impulse, and killed her, he could have left the body or hidden it in his office. He needed to dispose of it afterward.

    He had some time though. He could have met with other people in the building, labs, etc, even gone out of the building. These could be his current alibis.

  • Anon

    Sad. Hope that clarity and justice are brought to the case.

  • Observer

    The professor looks like a prime suspect.

    It looks like she left her office, and brought only papers to the lab. Perhaps she was submitting her research proposal, or initial papers to the professor?

    She most likely intended to only drop off these papers. She would not have left her belongings at her office, if she were either signed up for lab work, or going to teach. It looks like she is reviewing or ordering the papers as she walks into the building, on the surveillance video. She would not have had time to do research, before class either.

    So, it looks like she was to be there only briefly.

    Who else was in the lab at the time? Were any of the other students there yet? It is early in the semester, and at 10am, the lab or building might not be at full capacity yet.

    The following is a theory of the events, not implicating anyone in particular, especially as no one has been charged yet, but a view of how the evidence fits together so far:

    A theory is that she went to submit the papers, the professor came on to her, and she rebuffed. Maybe he tried to take advantage of her. If she responded negatively, this would affect his reputation. He may have decided to do away with her because of this. The motive may not have been immediately sexual at that time.

    If he somehow hurt her, perhaps strangled her, either by thought or just by wrong impulse, and killed her, he could have left the body or hidden it in his office. He needed to dispose of it afterward.

    He had some time though. He could have met with other people in the building, labs, etc, even gone out of the building. These could be his current alibis.

  • Observer

    After 12pm, he was back in the lab with a plan to dispose of the body. He pulled the fire alarm. When everyone was gone, he brought the body, possibly in a bag or container, to a disposal area, possibly an incinerator in the building. Most lab buildings have efficient waste removal systems, especially for biohazard waste. Those investigating should confirm the existence and accessibility of these waste disposal facilities, including acid, nitrogen, or incineration in the building.

    We know the crime had to have been committed by an employee who had access to the building. Someone close to her work area, or maintenance staff, would be the likely suspects. There doesn’t seem to have been time for her to have come into close contact with anyone else in the building, including maintenance staff, though. Her likely destination was the lab, and professor’s office. This is also the only place where she would have been in contact with someone in private, besides a restroom. He seems to be the only one that she would have certainly been in direct and close contact with that morning.

    Also, given that evidence was found in the lab, it is likely again that someone from the lab did it. They would also have knowledge of the building structure, that the ceiling panels could be moved, to hide evidence there. This also points away from maintenance staff, since they would probably dispose of evidence, rather than hide in in the lab. One would also need to feel authority over the lab area, possibly also be tall enough, to stand on a bench, and move the ceiling tiles, and keep evidence there. This would seem too complex out of place for someone not involved or not belonging to the lab, especially since they would have easier ways to dispose of this evidence, and they would be seen if trying to tamper with the lab fixtures. So someone who was comfortable in the lab seems most suspect also from this evidence.

  • Observer

    What is the professor’s current alibi? Does it account for the entire stretch of time, from 10am to 2pm? He would have been able to secure an alibi for any portion of that time, including sending emails to notify of her missing, and cancel her classes, but could still have committed the crime and disposed of the body within a short period during this time.

    The fire alarm is very suspicious. Since it is a new building, it is unlikely that it was accidental. At 10am, there may not have been many experiments going on already. It looks like it was deliberately set.

    Also, with the availability of gloves in labs, removing the possibility of finding fingerprints would theoretically be easy.

    What security footage is there? Is it taken of the entrances and exits only, or also inside the building and hallways? All of the activity of both Ms Le and the professor in the building day should be investigated. It should also be seen whether the professor left the building during the fire alarm, was wearing the same clothing, or was still inside.

    The professor’s choice of words are rather ‘creative’. He said, she “was a fabulous student”. And
    “There was certainly immediate concern about her whereabouts, and they grew over the course of the day,”

    There are ‘creative’ words. He is not speaking straight. Someone involved or concerned would say ‘she is a good student’, not ‘she was’, and would use straighter language when speaking about the time that she went missing, like ‘we were concerned about her’, and this event happened at this time, not ‘concerns about her whereabouts that grew during the day’. Suspects often resort to ‘creative language’ as a subconscious type of red-herring, when describing a series of events, to distance themselves or to cover their tracks. Someone who was really concerned and uninvolved would have the role of a detective, in straight, clear language, not the creative language of someone reminiscing about someone or when they went missing. They would be speaking from left brain, not right, if they were uninvolved and trying to solve this.

    Psychologically, the professor is a bit outside the norm as far as Yale faculty goes. He seems to be from the UK originally, and is black. Not to profile racially, but in analysis this sense of detachment or not fitting in to the campus norm may be a psychological factor to consider. His expression in photos also looks rather distant or reserved.

    It is also strange that he would notify the chairman, in such a small amount of time. Students and TAs may often be late or have a schedule mixup, early in the semester. Most professors would let it slide and speak with them later. Not notify the chairman immediately.

    It is also strange that he would cancel the class, before it was clear that she was missing at all.

  • Observer

    ==

    Let’s hope that all suspects are investigated thoroughly. This may have been a fairly ‘clean’ crime, as in committed in a short amount of time with few direct ties to the person who committed it. Even if the primary suspect is a professor, and perhaps especially if it is, the university and police should pursue the investigation fully. There should be no ‘sweeping under the rug’ with ambiguities or putting the reputation of the school before justice, like the Jovin case, where a professor was also the main suspect. Let’s hope that the person who committed this crime is brought to justice, far away from the university campus, and that the university campus can be a safe place for all.

  • @ speculating ken

    As #9 said, solving this case is not our job. There is no “we” in this investigation — the public neither needs nor deserves a “toehold” on the situation. Releasing further evidence, like security camera footage, in the middle of a case would be completely pointless only fuel more speculation. It seems frustrating from our end — why did it take the police so long to find the evidence in the ceiling? — and we all probably think we can rush in there and paw through things and find what they’re looking for if only they’d give us a chance, but they really are doing their jobs. This is a large building, and it takes a long time to comb through every corner of a single room, let alone a complex lab. And sure, they are withholding some things — they said they found “bloody clothes and other crime scene items” and don’t say what the items are — but there is a case-related reason they are doing this. Had they found a body, this information would surely not be withheld from the media. This is already a really bad situation for Yale — let’s see how much application rates dip next year — but the University would never try to cover up the full developments in this case. Everyone is already expecting the worst anyway, so Yale’s already getting bad media attention and it’s not really reversible at this point.

    Also, your assertion that “this crime has already been solved and the authorities are helping to abscond the truth” is sensationalist and useless speculation at its worse. I’m assuming that you’re not a “Yale person,” because your river bit is totally unfounded and offensive to anyone who has any connection with the University. And to call Miss Le a “child” is condescending.

  • Another Theory…

    It is also quite possible that there was a conflict of interest between Annie and another lab member regarding the ownership of her research project. This type of situation is quite frequent between members of the same lab. Has this lead been considered?

  • #11

    Has police located and interviewed the person in the surveillance photo holding the door at 10 Amistad Street for Ms. Annie Le?
    That person may be able to shed some light on what Ms. Annie Le was holding, and whether she was carrying her purse.

  • Veracity

    From the onset of this missing person case I did not understand why only one super grainy photo was published, then 48 hours we find the same photo less cropped showing a mystery person and showing Annie appeared to have an animal in her arms. It also looked like she was wearing her ID around her neck (the “brown necklace”). Initially the published time was 11 AM, then it was moved to 10 AM the next day. So many mistakes along the way so far in my opinion. And so many missed opportunities in my view.
    Glad I am not alone thinking Annie is holding an animal. Where did the animal come from? Did the mystery person hand her the animal just before she entered the facility? Or did she go somewhere to get the animal and then to the research facility? Footage from Sterling would help clarify. Why not released? Also would help folks know the timeline. None has been released really has it? All of the specifics help provide the community with things that may jog their memory and help the investigation. Billboards went up on FRIDAY. She went missing on TUESDAY morning! Most classes are M-W-F or T-TH. Even the campus wide notification didn’t happen until 48 hours lapsed. Why the delay at every step by authorities? Now those billboards The other thing was the way authorities leading the investigation (Yale) for the first 101 hours at least told her roommate, family, and peers NOT TO TALK TO MEDIA. And finally why nothing about the adjoining garage? Bet most of those cameras are on those four floors, don’t you think? A tiny person Annie’s size could hide or be hidden in a car fairly easily. And be moved in a rather smallish container. I keep wondering what vehicles were parked in that garage and left after 10 AM Tuesday.

  • Veracity

    Wish authorities at Yale had behaved more like authorities at Illinois State officials did when Olamide Adeyooye vanished. In the case of Taylor Behl, her mom hired an attorney right away to FORCE the University to let the FBI take the lead. In this case, I am still scratching my head why Ms. Kim Mertz did NOT initiate a new conference RIGHT AWAY to lay down the LINE TIME so she and others COULD get the public’s cooperation. If they hide the facts or alter the facts along the way, how in the world can they expect folks to cooperate?

  • joe (newhavenite)

    “someone holding the door for Miss Le”?
    Yes her hands are full and she looks as if she has her purse with her. But they claim it was back in Sterling.. Perhaps an argument over just who she was and where was her Id ?
    Classes cancelled ? Her class was cancelled .
    She probably was’nt able to attend class that day, and was not able to formally notify her friends. They would have spotted her missing immediately

  • holmes sherlock

    The police definitely needs to crossreference all registered sex offenders and pedophiles against the list of people having access to the campus. She was a little hottie that easily could have attracted a perp with her childlike appearance. Also, as stated before by “observer”, the black professor he mentioned at least needs to be checked out.

    If the perp indeed put poor Annie into the incinerator, this case might be difficult to solve. Maybe they get a lucky break checking out her bloody clothing and locating the perps DNA on it.

    Or could it be that Annie decided to committ suicide and fake a crime by putting blood on her clothes and then jumping into the incinerator? Maybe for some reason her upcoming wedding scared her to death.

    So many questions still unanswered!

  • worried student

    The spokeswoman should look more professsional and not smile and appear so at eased and casual. This is not a press briefing about an abstract topic but about what everyone knows by now to be a murder. Looks like the killer had cleaned up the crime scene and had enough control of the situation to stuffed the clothes away. They need to describe the timeline. Le was already missing at the tiem of the fire alarm.

  • leigh

    Agree – the FBI agent smirked and appeared amused at times. Totally unprofessional and unsympathetic to the victim and her family. I hope Yale is held accountable and give me a break a ten thousand dollar reward – the average graduate student spends over $150K for an education without adequate safety on campus

  • Obs.

    Other aspects of the evidence to consider: his message declaring her missing, the timing, the evidence in the lab, the nature of their relationship, and a possible motive.

    On the message, the reason why the professor may have been so quick to notify the chairman, would be to divert attention away from the lab. By saying that ‘other students said she never came to lab, and she is missing’, which is strong language when he had no evidence for that, he shifted attention away from himself and from the lab. The department would call to search other areas of campus first. If she was reported missing by someone else, by 12pm, they could have been searching the lab, including his office. So he had to report her, with the red herring she must not be in the lab. Since she was shown entering the building just 2 hours earlier, where students work independently, it is pretty drastic to already declare her missing.

    Both the timing and wording of the message is suspicious. He declared her missing at 12pm.

    By the evidence and matching theory:

    He could have killed her between 10am and 10:30am, been seen anywhere else between 10:30am and 12pm, then gone back to his office at 12pm. He then sent an email to the chairman immediately. He also canceled her class scheduled for for 2pm that day. Again this is drastic, especially for the first week of class, when she could be any number of places and still return to teach her class on time two hours later.

    Between 12pm and 12:45, when the alarm was pulled, he could be preparing the body for removal from his office.

    Since there were people in the building, he needed to clear it in order to remove the body.

    He also HAD to do it then, he could not wait until later in the day, because after she was reported missing by anyone, the police would eventually be searching the lab, including his office. So he had to make sure the office was clear shortly after 12pm.

    Between 12pm and 12:45pm, who knows what happened to her body. He may have done something strange like removed her clothes to keep possession of them. This may be why her clothes were reportedly found in the lab.

  • Obs.

    What was the nature of their relationship? Are there any objective accounts? Did they ever spend time together outside of the lab?

    If they had any relationship during her time in the lab, whether romantic, or just flirtatious or friendly, she probably would have withdrawn or distanced herself from him when she was about to get married. Even if they had not been serious or together for a long time, if she dated or was involved with the professor at all before she was more serious with her current boyfriend, there would still be a shift in the relationship with the professor. If they ever had ANY romantic involvement, or ties outside the lab, the professor could feel possessive about her, and want to keep her from getting married, when she would officially be cut off from any relationship with the professor.

    Labs also tend to be fairly sexually repressive places. It’s not surprising if some weird vibes were going on there. It’s also not uncommon for labmates to have relationships.

    The student-professor and mentee-mentor relationship is already has an inherent power balance. He may have transferred some of this power to a more serious or possessive type of relationship. Also physically, he looks fairly tall, and she is tiny. He may have felt both positional, academic, and physical superiority over her. Again, her becoming attached to another man may have triggered a possessive act in him. This would explain the circumstances surrounding the day of the crime.

    All of the existing evidence lines up in a fairly patterned way.

    Hopefully this suspect being is investigated thoroughly.

  • Just reading

    The posts are interesting and it appears that speculation by brilliant people will lead to these types of posts. That said, seems to me that every post should begin or end with some sort of recognition of the enormity of this situation– the incredible anxiousness and sadness that her family and fiance must feel. This appears a tragedy beyond words. Would that she were just a runaway bride. I pray and hope beyond hope that she is alive and well.

  • mary

    New Haven is a dangerous town, and I wonder how these things do not happend more often. This case is very bad for the University since it shows how bad is the crime around here. How can they get professionals to move to New Haven to work for Yale with the town’s crime reputation?

  • Yalie 11

    Let us all pray good outcomes will come, however miraculous.

    But, as students here, we need to demand the local Police and Yale give closure on this incidence. We cannot let the truth go again just as in Jovine’s case.

  • TRUTHSQUAD

    Guess the reports were true

  • Yikes

    Lorimer’s affect was indeed completely inappropriate. And in her email to the Yale community, she calls Le’s disappearance “alas, a perplexing mystery” as if she was talking about a missing book. I was embarrassed to be associated with Yale when I saw how she was acting.

  • John

    “Observer” is presumably an amateur at crime solving but his reasoning (#28-31) sounds very persuasive to me, even if speculative. Those investigating this crime should consider these comments if they haven’t already reasoned along similar lines.

  • student

    it’s funny to watch everyone here write about crime when yale spends something like $30 million per year on police patrols, but then forget to mention that absolutely nothing is being done to improve the deadly streets and crosswalks around campus. yale has historically one of the safest campuses in the country in terms of crime, but the danger that isn’t measured in that is the danger from speeding cars. undergrads, grad studentsm facuklty and yale adjuncts are constantly injured and killed in pedestrian-vehicle crashes on the streets around campus. there are no bike lanes and nothing to keep cars from speeding highway style right thru the dormitory areas. if you look at homicides on the yale campus over the past 100 years, you have three. if you look at pedestrian deaths there were three just in the past ONE yr.

  • Outsider looking in

    “Observer” may yet be proven to be prescient, given the latest developments today (Sunday late afternoon).

  • Recent Alum

    44, 49: This crime has nothing to do with safety in New Haven or around campus. This is a crime by someone who likely worked at the research facility at 10 amistad and knew the victim. This could have happened in the safest town in the U.S.

  • Yalie

    The Yale class schedule for pharmacology says that Bennett (the black professor’s) class is TuTh 10:30-12 in SHM. Maybe that’s why she left her purse etc. there- she had not intended to be in Amistad for long. #41, where did you hear that the cancelled class was 2 pm?

    Also very weird that the class was cancelled, especially in the first weeks of the semester.

  • Concerned

    To Yalie (#52)

    Just because Bennett was her PI and she worked under his supervision, that does not mean she even takes his classes. He was her advisor, and most 3rd year grad students do not even take classes anymore…they mostly conduct research and scientific experiments. So please do not assume that that professor had anything to do with this until there are facts.

    It is a terrible tragedy and we should all keep our speculations to ourselves until the truth is out there, as to not brand any innocent persons.

  • Sherlock

    Of course the professor did it! Or at least is suspicious! After all, he’s Black!!! And that’s just not NORMAL for Yale!!!

    …The logic coming out of some of you “educated” people is really appalling. Listen to yourselves.

    Rest in Peace, Annie.