FEMALE BODY FOUND AT 10 AMISTAD ST.; POLICE ‘ASSUME’ IT IS ANNIE LE GRD ’13

New Haven Police Department Assistant Chief Peter Reichard (right) told members of the press Sunday evening that human remains had been found inside a wall at 10 Amistad St.
New Haven Police Department Assistant Chief Peter Reichard (right) told members of the press Sunday evening that human remains had been found inside a wall at 10 Amistad St. Photo by Harrison Korn.

Investigators have found the body of a female inside a wall in the basement of 10 Amistad St., the building where Annie Le GRD ’13 was last seen, authorities said Sunday evening.

At a press conference at New Haven Police Department headquarters, NHPD Assistant Chief Peter Reichard said the remains were found shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday, adding that he could not confirm whether the remains were Le’s. Still, he said, authorities are now classifying the case as a homicide investigation.

University President Richard Levin addressed the media outside Woodbridge Hall on Sunday evening regarding the human remains found inside the laboratory building at 10 Amistad St.
University President Richard Levin addressed the media outside Woodbridge Hall on Sunday evening regarding the human remains found inside the laboratory building at 10 Amistad St.
Police set up a one-block perimeter around 10 Amistad St. late Sunday night.  Human remains were discovered inside the laboratory building around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Police set up a one-block perimeter around 10 Amistad St. late Sunday night. Human remains were discovered inside the laboratory building around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Four Yale graduate students, all of whom declined to give their names, left daisies and roses at the entrance of Amistad Park on Sunday night after the authorities announced a body had been found in 10 Amistad St.
Four Yale graduate students, all of whom declined to give their names, left daisies and roses at the entrance of Amistad Park on Sunday night after the authorities announced a body had been found in 10 Amistad St.

“She hasn’t been identified, but we’re assuming that it is [Le] at this time,” Reichard said.

In a campuswide e-mail titled “Tragic News,” University President Richard Levin said an autopsy to identify the body will be performed by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The news comes a day after officials said they seized bloody clothes from a ceiling at 10 Amistad St., where Le was last seen. A source within the Yale Police Department said the clothes are not what Le was wearing when she entered that facility Tuesday, adding that the blood on the material could be either human blood or animal blood, since many animal experiments are conducted in the research facility.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said officials are currently analyzing the blood to determine its origins.

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.

FBI Special Agent Kim 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.

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. On Saturday, officials asked that the media respect the family’s privacy.

Investigators combed 10 Amistad St. for clues last week, questioning friends, faculty and colleagues. More than 100 law enforcement officials from four different agencies — the New Haven Police Department, the Yale Police Department, the Connecticut State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation — are involved on the case, University officials said.

As part of the investigation, authorities undertook several complete sweeps of 10 Amistad St., bringing in bloodhounds and even combing through trash in a dumpster outside the building.

Reporting was contributed by Isaac Arnsdorf, Zeke Miller, Martine Powers and Victor Zapana.

Comments

  • Yale ’11

    Prayers to her family and friends. Let’s hope whoever is responsible is brought to justice soon.

  • wall?

    How does someone get a body into a wall without any noticeable holes?

  • Yale11

    I am deeply saddened and outraged that this case has come to this conclusion. May the monster who did this to Annie be brought to justice. What should have been the happiest day of her life has become a nightmare for her family and her fiance. My most heartfelt condolences.

  • YaleAlum

    What sad news… I pray for her and her family.

    CT still has capital punishment; I hope the family receives justice.

  • Yale 08

    So tragic… is there no place safe anymore?

  • undergrad

    no.

    I am praying for God’s comfort for her family and fiancé during this horrible time. To those who knew and loved Annie: I am so sorry.

  • BigEgos

    At least they have a finite list of suspects. Poor dear Annie. What a horrendous crime.

  • anon

    What a horrible tragedy. I feel so sorry for the family and fiance!
    I can’t believe it took police 5 days to find the body in a single building. Hope it doesn’t take them as long to find who did it.

  • holland

    This is so awful. My thoughts and prayers for the family and Ms. Le’s would be husband. When are these senseless killings ever going to stop?

  • Want to come to Yale

    I’m so sad to read this.

  • Entire Yale Community

    our hearts go out to the friends and family…

  • anonymous

    My heart goes out to her family and fiancee.

  • Laura

    This is sickening. My heart goes out to Annie’s family and her fiance. So absolutely tragic. I hope that they catch the twisted lunatic who did this.

  • Joe

    There is more information online about the specifics of Ms. Le’s (now canceled) wedding than her disappearance and gruesome death. A killer remains at large in the community, but authorities don’t seem too concerned at this point that there are no suspects. Pathetic!

  • william mallory rintoul

    Why can’t you put in the time your reports are posted?

    With all the false leads in reporting heretofore, it would be easier for those interested in the Le case to weed out the rumors, errors, and unfounded reports if we could at least isolate the good from the bad partly by means of knowing the timeline.

    So far the YDN has been ahead in its coverage of this horrendous case. Improve it by giving us the time of each report. That’s basic journalism.

    wmr

  • Y’10

    case in point: the university’s complete failure of ensuring our safety. who will ever dare to go to the stacks in sml or stay up late in law lib from now on?

  • Concerned.

    INSIDE A WALL????

    and how did they not find her beforehand? you think it would be obvious if someone tampered with a wall.

  • Yale ’11

    It had to have been someone familiar with the building to know how to hide a body there so well.

  • frustrated citizen

    What I would like to know is..
    How it is that the building was searched up and down more than a few times and nothing was found??? Every building has mechanical, electrical and plumbing chase, why were they not searched?
    When did she died? Could she have been saved if the building was better searched? I hope to God that she was not killed after the initial search. She was always in the building. How hard can it be????
    I am very frustrated and hope that justice will be done and soon. It is an outrage that this could happen anywhere, but esepecially in a secured building that belongs to an well known college.

  • Thom803

    This has to be an inside job. There is no way an outsider can hide a body INSIDE THE BUILDING EVERYONE WAS LOOKING IN so that it isn’t found for 5 freaking days.

  • ang

    why do they put a 13 after her name??

  • Sad

    I wonder if this would be garnering quite so much attention if she happened to go to UCONN instead of YALE.

  • Yale GRD

    I have trouble believing this was was some random crime. Why someone would go to such great lengths to harm her is beyond me.

  • Yale

    This is such a sad story.

  • jimbo

    Why did it take so long to find her— 5 days??? Surely the dogs would of snuffed her out— this reminds of that case in NYC where the lady janitor was found in the heating ducts. they should have found her sooner.

  • Jenny

    Is there no safe place for women? An abduction or mugging on the street is one thing, however slight the risk, but for a woman to vanish within the very walls of a populated campus building in the middle of the day is hard to take. My heart breaks for her family, her fiance, and the Yale community.

  • Kim

    I am wondering, is the lab locked? If the fire alarm went off at 12 something, we girls usually take our purses because after all, the building could burst into flames. Is the fire alarm an unusual occurrence or does it happen quite often? If it happens often, we girls may leave our purses IF they can be locked up somehow. But IF the fire alarm was truly accidental as “they” say, we girls have no way of knowing whether it is a real fire or not. Therefore, we would take our purse. Whether or not the alarm is a usual/unusual thing, AT MINIMUM, we would take a cell phone. I have been through fire alarms, drills and accidental. Doesn’t matter, we always have to wait for the fire department to call an “all clear” before re-entering the building. That’s at least 15 minutes of standing outside waiting. I have called many people standing outside during a fire alarm/drill. Something about this doesn’t sit right with me and I was compelled to post comments even though I have never read Yale Daily News in my life. If a murderer were inside a building and had just killed someone, he/she would have to transport the body to the hiding place or force the live person to the place where they were ultimately found, if that place were different. It would certainly be more convenient to have the building empty. You don’t have to post my comments – I just felt compelled to share this gut feeling I have about the fire alarm. I think it’s related. There is no such thing as a coincidence. I am not sure what I think about the canceled class. No such thing as a coincidence.

  • yalealum

    I have been following this story from the start. This is a heartbreaking ending.

    My condolences go out to Annie’s family and her fiance.

  • Yalie 00

    As usual I’m sure the NHPD screwed this investigation up like they did in the Jovin case. They have names and photos of everyone that was in that building, but watch them screw this investigation up.

  • Re: Ang

    that’s the year she was supposed to graduate from yale

  • saddened

    Apparently, a vigil will be arranged soon. I encourage everyone to attend if possible, to show support for the family.

    This does not seem like a random crime but I hope that it encourages everyone to be more cautious–even our own buildings are not safe.

  • David

    I am so sad to read this..I hope Annie Le would not be the second Suzanne Jovin…Still could not image the murder was taken place in a secured building during the day….All recruited staff or faculty need to have their background checked in the long run..

  • Hermagoras

    Very, very sad.

    I have to ask about the possibility of misdirection by the murderer. Wasn’t her purse found in a different building from her body? That might been planted after the murder to throw the police off: in which case it worked for a bit. But that suggests someone with access both to her office and to her lab.

  • J

    This is just horrible to read about. All this information, and you know Annie’s friends are going to be reading. Going to be imagining how it happened to her. People work in that lab every day. I can’t imagine it if was me, if I had to go in there, thinking about my dead friend.

    Bloody clothes in the ceiling? A body in the wall? You have got to be kidding me. What are there tunnels in the walls and ceilings, a killer on the loose crawling through them all? Big enough to hide a body. No motion detectors in these spaces, no alarms alerting campus safety?

    I know Yale is secured, but what happens when the fire alarm is triggered? Do all the doors in the building just unlock?

    If she didn’t carry her purse, does that mean someone took her from her desk?

    I can’t tell you how scared that makes me. I hope they solve this mystery.

  • jp 09

    this is sad. step it up yale. keep your kids safe. as a recent grad, i’m pretty upset about this. on campus / off campus (practically on campus) should be places where you can be during the day without worry. c’mon…

  • student on the med campus

    This is horrifying and disgusting, and I hope that the investigation is swift and accurate. To Yale: please consider improving security on the medical campus, if only to help students and faculty move on after this unspeakable tragedy. We cannot continue with our work and studies when there’s a murderer in our midst.

  • to YDN

    Please stand up this time and pressure the school and local police to find out the truth SOON. Please point out, criticize and question the unprofessional and unacceptable attitude and choice of words used by the secretary. Please stand up for the safety of all students and the peace of mind of all families.

  • Tony

    Sad story.

    Whoever did it should be brought to justice. Weird fire alarm, weird class cancellation, and weird blood clothes that she wasn’t wearing.

  • Vandy

    I work in a lab & there are many crawl spaces needed for all the extra pipes for water & ducts that ventilate.. I call them ‘secret rooms’ & we use them to store supplies, etc. I can see why it would take them that long to find her, especially if the building is that big..

    What a horrible ending. I couldn’t imagine anything more tragic. God bless the family & friends.

  • To #36…

    …guess you won’t be practicing medicine in Detroit

  • Anon

    This is an intelligent killer with a sense of bravado, gutsy enough to commit murder in a secure building with 75 surveillance cameras, for which ID is needed for entry. Is it a coincidence her body was found on her wedding day–or calculated by a medically knowledgable killer, who figured the probable time at which a decomposing body might be found in a wall? My amateur profile of this killer is that he/she has a high need for attention. There are many ways, and places, that the murder could have been committed that wouldn’t have aroused so much attention. My amateur profile of the killer: a high degree of narcissism, a little reckless but also with the discpline and precision of thought to have carried this out, medically knowledgable as are many of the people in those environs. A motive might be a narcissistic injury–jealousy. The killer’s need for attention could be used against him/her, and lead to capture.

  • Frank

    1. Bring feral cat into building

    2. put water on for tea

    3. cat gets away and into crawl space

    4. look for cat/ fall into wall

    5. water boils away/ burn pan/ set off alarm

    6. ???

  • safety

    shouldn’t yale police and the administration let students and public know if they have any suspects or if a killer is on the loose? what about warning students esp. girls to stay in groups and be aware of their surroundings.. yale you fail

  • So Sad

    I too kept an eye on this from the beginning and I’m heartbroken to hear this is how it ended.
    That out of the way, I have to say, the reporting and conduct of authorities in this case is completely abhorrent. You cannot tell me that it took them four days to find this young lady in the same building! If it really did: FOR SHAME. As for 39: they have tools, dogs, a number of ways to find bodies. The problem is people were looking all over when there was no video of her actually leaving. Figure that out.

    You investigators have a narrow list of suspects in light of this, I hope you do a better job now and take that short list seriously.

    To her family and fiance I cannot express my sorrow and I hope you will find a way to move forward in your positive memories.

  • BeltwayJ

    There is a killer roaming around New Haven. Everyone must be very careful.

  • anon

    Is Annie Le’s lab working on anything dangerous or important? If this photo is Annie Le, at first I thought she was carrying books. The photo is blurry:
    http://www.courant.com/community/new-haven/hc-annie-le-yale-missing-photo,0,2661037.photo

    Now I think she may have been carrying an animal like a rabbit. Like this photo: http://research.uiowa.edu/animal/rabbit7.jpg

    What is she carrying? And where is it now?

  • To #36

    I don’t think they should transfer to columbia med either.

    What of reports that a student has been questioned regarding stuff in threw into the incinerator? the NY Post reported that a student was question about his activity near the incinerator and then later failed a lie detector test…

  • WATCHDOGone

    Here are the issues – YDN I know you can dig into this one:

    1) The FBI gets involved for no reason – this does not happen in normal cases of a “missing person” unless it involves interstate crime or foreign players. We have no explanation for this as of yet.
    2) Yale only offers a $10,000 reward (they should be ashamed)
    3) Yale does not warn students to be careful – there could be a dangerous person on the loose
    4) On Saturday there was leak from within the Police Department that said bloody clothes were found in the ceiling tiles
    5) Another leak, also on Saturday, said that a body had been found inside the building
    6) Then came the press conference
    7) There were 4 law enforcement agencies involved, but no one had taken credit for being the lead. Yale VP and FBI spokeswoman did most of the talking. They denied that a body had been found, and would not answer about the bloody clothing.
    8) At that time Yale Police Chief James Perrotti spoke – he referred to as a “homicide scene” – but no one caught his slip
    9) 24 hours later we hear that there was bloody clothes found in a ceiling tile and that a body was found
    10) Now a leak from within the police department has stated that they have someone in custody

    Just a hunch:

    1) Yale hires illegal alien custodial workers, so they can cut down on union worker hours – this has been proven in the past – they even help to falsify their OSHA paperwork
    2) Illegal alien rapes and murders Annie Le – this was not planned
    3) They are familiar with the building so they take her body to a highly unpopulated area of the building and dump her between the walls
    4) She goes missing
    5) During review of the tapes the authorities identify the murderer
    6) They find out he is an illegal alien contractor – thus the FBI gets involved (they control the NCIC database used by ICE to identify illegal aliens) – the same system that Mayor DeStefano refuses to be a part of
    7) They apprehend the suspect yesterday morning, he admits he killed her and tells them about the bloody clothes and a body in the building
    8) That info leaks out
    9) Yale and the City are embarrassed about the illegal alien issue, so the cover-up starts
    10) Police Chief Perotti slips up and mentions a “homicide scene” at the press conference because he doesn’t want to be a part of this (from what I’ve heard, he’s a good guy – he may be the leak)

    Now we’ll see if I am close… “

  • RIP

    Been following this story, so sad. Prayers go out to her loved ones and I hope whoever is responsible is caught swiftly. Since they didn’t have evidence of her leaving the building, hopefully they have an indication of who else was inside at the time. So sad, RIP.

  • phd student

    1. does the vivarium/animal facility at 10 Amistad require scrubs or a change of clothes?

    2. Was the power shut off in the entire building after the fire alarm went off? Would the freight elevator have been shut down also?

    3. doesn’t the animal facility have logsheets for people who come and go?

  • thom803

    Watchdogone, you are full of it. Stop watching so much CSI.

    Seriously, folks, if this is a state school student, it’s not even page 4 of the local paper.

    The fact that it’s Yale makes it international news.

    What happened? I have no clue. Let’s let the pros deal with it.

  • DD

    Check out the utility, construction, janitors etc workers, present and past, anybody with good knowledge of building. Terrible crime to happen to a campus, and will forver change the fear factor for anyone on campus. A few of this, hope not, will change Yale to no school.

  • Art

    #47, You are a racist! Making stereotypical comments. Murderers come in all colors, ethnicities, and nationalities. There have been college murders at numerous college campuses. Some were committed by white custodial workers, white math students,white teenagers, black teenagers and illegal aliens. You should wait until all the facts are in before rushing to judgment. Criminality is not restricted to one race.

  • Brown ’09

    WATCHDOGone get a life.
    Annie Le may you rest in peace.

  • writin

    bless the poor family! How tragic and horrific it’s unbelievable.
    Watchdogone don’t know about all that… possible I suppose, anything is! Don’t think everyone missed the “homicide scene” read daily news sat. and sun about the case they made ref. to “body” found when they went to press Sat. night. It seems clear that clothes and body were found before it was “said” Not sure what exactly the YPD or NHPD have done wrong? Police were alerted to the fact she was missing on tuesday night, rather late, they confirm that she is in fact missing (that should be confirmed yeah?) they deal with family etc. on wed just after noon they tell student body, press etc. and begin the investigation. I suppose it would not be a very good investigation – especially in terms of a suspect – to release every bit of information the minute it happens. Likely they did not find clothes or body wed, thurs or fri. It seems the above YDN refers to an upcoming autopsy to “identify” the body. It’s not nice to talk or think about it, but God if the poor girl’s identity can not be confirmed in way shape or form by her mother or fiance and it requires an autopsy well it must be pretty bad. I can see why it took time, who’d think to look “in” a wall – they probably searched the place inside out and upside down and concentrated efforts outside of the building, while keeping up the search in the building… I have no idea, but neither do we

  • James C.

    One thing is certain, this crime was not planned, and it was not a random crime of opportunity.

    Not even a phsychopath would PLAN to commit a murder in such a controlled, cctv-monitored, environment. This, therfore, was a crime of passion committed by someone who knew the victim. If you are a random predator, you don’t choose this setting. If you are a predator who works in the building, you do not commit your crimes in that setting. It has to be a crime of passion and committed by someone who knew her from the University or the Lab. Any other freinds or family members known to the victim are not suspects as they would stick out in the CCTV footage (ei. they would be out of place there). Thus, this crime was committed by a student, faculty, or employee of the University that the victim knew.

  • anon

    rip annie, or whoever this girl may be.
    my condolences to her family.

    i hope they find whoever did this.

  • writin

    posing about YDN articles about Annie Le (Bless her ) is there any reporting on Annie herself, her background, is she Amercian or born and raised in Asia etc.

  • concerned

    To the speculation comments made above, it’s just that “speculation” and your racial comments are so unnessesary at a time like this where the hearts of family members and her friends are broken. My prayers are with you all, find comfort in your memories because they can never be taken away. Lets also remember Susan Jovin, God rest her soul, as her killer has never been brought to justice.

  • google it or watch TV

    #58 she’s from Cali. have you watched any of the daytime news shows?

    plus what does it matter where she was raised? she’s a PERSON period.

  • wanderingaengus

    How can someone say this was not a planned murder…the person knew the building (clearly), pulled the fire alarm to get people out of the building an killed her. It is a definite crime of passion, most likely, by someone who was upset with her pending nuptials.

    And for all of those people saying they do not feel safe and there is a murderer among our midst…this person targeted Annie Le specifically, and is not likely to be a serial killer on the loose.

  • KG

    This whole thing makes me sick. RIP.

  • frustrated citizen

    I hope that they soon find the killer. they only have so many people to look at since they are all on cameras. This is like finding a fish in a pond thru process of elimination.
    I pray that the authourity won’t screw this up.
    I am still awaiting for the details of how and when she died and hope that they will release that soon (but i doubt it)
    I am still waiting for explainations as to why she was not found earlier. I make my living on designing buildings and every building has chases (for services of all types) Each chase has an access point. Each point supposed to be locked and only access is granted to authorized personels. My bet is that her capture hid himself and Annie in the chase. Had his way with her then dump her body and left.
    I am also a relative of the victim. I am sad, angry, and very very frustrated!!

  • Alum ’08

    Watchdog, keep your stupid, xenophobic mouth shut until the evidence is collected! Nobody wants to hear your conjectural, CSI-style hypothesis.

  • sad

    I am so sad to read this. I am at loss of words…

  • Saddened

    I am so saddened by this news. My heart and prayers go out to the finace, family and friends of Ms. Le. This is a horrific tragedy and I pray that whoever did this is found and brought to justice. I also feel terrible for the students who must now resume their college career after this terrible tragedy. I can only imagine that I would be scared to death. I pray for all kids on that campus, and everyone close to Ms. Le.

    I’m curious about this class that was cancelled. I haven’t seen that reported only saw mention in these comments. Does this have some possible correlation to Annie’s disappearance and death?

  • Veracity

    This case did not hit the media ONLY because this happened at YALE. Anyone remember Taylor Behl, Olamide Adeyooye,… I could list many others. WHEN ADULTS VANISH the MEDIA plays a CRITICAL ROLE in HELPING FIND the person. What was baffling about this case was the way YALE LOCKED the media out, held the reins of the investigation until a body was found on Sunday at 5, according to New Haven Chief of Detectives Reichard. Aren’t any of you in the least bit concerned WHY it took so long to find a girl who’s only and reportedly last image included her holding an animal entering the Amisted facility?

  • To 40 and 47

    When was the last time that a graduate/professional student was murdered in the middle of the day inside a supposedly secured lab building at Columbia, most likely by someone who belongs to the Columbia community?

    It’s one thing to go to school or work in an area that has high crime rates. I’ve spent years living in both New Haven and Baltimore. You use your street smarts, and you realize that being victimized is a risk of living in those areas.

    It’s another thing altogether not to be able to feel safe inside secured buildings where you work. While physicians working in hospitals in inner-city Detroit have higher risks of being victims of crime outside the hospital, they still have security forces within the hospital that do a pretty good job of keeping them safe while on-the-job. If security is so lax that physicians there feel that they are at risk of being murdered inside the hospital, something needs to change.

    Similarly, if Columbia medical students are worried about being murdered within their academic buildings, Columbia should improve their security.

    It’s ridiculous to deny that institutions have a responsibility to provide a relatively safe environment for their employees and students.

  • aqui, alli, alla

    Very broad statement, Veracity. I remember Olamide Adeyooye’s story very well and I also remember the extensive coverage that story received. I also remember Max Kolb’s story. Neither one of them went to Yale or an Ivy League.

  • sad

    good they have a suspect now. May annie rest in peace.

  • shirl

    I am so saddened by this news. My heart and prayers goes out to her family and fiance. My the Lord bless and keep them always.

  • phd student

    I wonder what the time frame is – was AL attacked between 10 am and 12:40pm, when the fire alarm went off?

    I wonder if the buildings and ground services could figure out where the fire alarm first went off, whether this is accidental or whether a diversionary tactic

    It’s also good that AL’s roommate is the sort who is sensitive to her schedule – she was last seen at 10am and the roommate reported her missing on the same day, at 9pm.

  • James C.

    Anyone else see the logistical problem with what the police said in today’s press conference where they deny the “suspect being questioned” rumour. The police say there is no suspect but also that they are 100% sure no student was invovlved! HELLO! They must have a suspect and know who did this crime if they can state confidently that no Yale student was invovled!

  • ckelly-Providence RI

    what a horrible senseless tragedy. Annie sounds like she was a wonderful, intelligent person; so full of potential. My heart aches for her fiance and the rest of her family. I am praying for them.

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