Former friend found guilty of Michelle Le murder

Courtesy PhotoA jury convicted Giselle Esteban of first-degree murder in the gruesome death of her former friend

A Northern California jury on Monday convicted a woman of first-degree murder in the gruesome death of her former friend, San Francisco Bay area nursing student Michelle Le, prosecutors said.

An Alameda County jury returned the verdict against Giselle Esteban, 28, who attended high school with Le in San Diego.

Le, 26, went missing from a Hayward hospital parking lot in May 2011. Police and volunteer searchers discovered her badly decomposed remains in a canyon east of San Francisco Bay after she had been missing for months.

“I hope today's verdict will help the family and friends of Ms. Le to continue the long process towards healing following this tragic and senseless crime,” District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Esteban, of Union City, stalked Le and attacked her in the parking garage of the hospital where she was doing a clinical rotation. According to grand jury testimony, Esteban had grown increasingly enraged at a friendship between Le and Scott Marasigan, who has a young daughter with Esteban.

Esteban had pleaded not guilty. She is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10.

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