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.
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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.