LIVE BLOG: Press conference at Woodbridge Hall
The News will be posting updates from Beinecke Plaza this afternoon as law enforcement officials brief the press about the investigation into the disappearance of Annie Le GRD ’13. A press conference is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. outside Woodbridge Hall.
5:13 p.m. | The blinds are shut in the president’s office in Woodbidge Hall as officials from the University, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Haven Police Department and Connecticut State Police can be seen huddled on the second floor.
5:16 p.m. | Over half a dozen television stations are camped out outside Woodbrige Hall waiting for the press conference to start. Many plan to cover the press conference live.
5:24 p.m. | Reporters are buzzing about a Fox 61 television report that said Le’s body has been recovered. A senior University official reached by telephone a moment ago said the report is not true, and no body has been found — or at least the University has not been told as much.
5:26 p.m. | WTNH-TV will be streaming the press conference live. Click here to watch.
5:33 p.m. | 5:30 p.m. has passed and law enforcement officials have yet to emerge from Woodbridge Hall.
5:35 p.m. | Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer is now speaking, introduced by Yale spokesman Tom Conroy. She is praising law enforcement for their work on the case.
5:37 p.m. | “I’ve been in conversations with Annie Le’s family,” Lorimer said. She says the University has conveyed the fact it wants to do anything it can to help the family, and says the family asks for the media to respect its privacy.
5:38 p.m. | “The investigation is at a very difficult stage,” Lorimer said. “It’s just not right for them to speculate,” she says of law enforcement officials, who are about to speak.
5:38 p.m. | Kimberly Mertz, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Connecticut, is now speaking. More than 100 law enforcement officials are part of the case, she said. “We are not in a position today to conclude whether this is a missing persons case or whether criminality is involved,” she said.
5:39 p.m. | YPD Chief James Perrotti is at the lectern. “One of the things that Yale takes very seriously is security on campus,” he said. He said Yale is very fortunate to have so many cameras near 10 Amistad St. and asks reporters to emphasize the $10,000 reward and the FBI tip line (877-503-1950).
5:41 p.m. | Officials from the State Police and NHPD are now introducing themselves.
5:42 p.m. | “We don’t know where she is,” Conroy said of Le. People yell at him for not speaking into the microphone. “We don’t know if a crime were committed or not,” he said.
“I will categorically say a body has not been found,” Mertz said.
As for the bloody clothes reportedly removed from 10 Amistad St., she says, “Items that could potentially be evidence has been seized.” These items have not been “associated” with Le, she said.
Mertz is now being criticized for the lack of information Yale and law enforcement officials have released to the press over the course of the past few days.
5:44 p.m. | “I’m not going to confirm what was seized,” Mertz said.
5:46 p.m. | “I’m not going to provide that timeline,” Mertz said when asked about what Le was doing and with whom she was interacting at 10 Amistad St. the morning of her disappearance.
“There is no reason to believe that whatsoever,” Lorimer said of the suggestion that Le may have run away.
5:50 p.m. | Mertz is being asked about Tuesday’s fire alarm at 10 Amistad St. (caused by steam in a lab, she says) and the surveillance cameras (still being scrutinized).
5:51 p.m. | Conroy ends the press conference and ushers Lorimer and Mertz inside.