Suspect In Annie Le Case Has Fiancee
(Updated 11:24 p.m.) The target in the slaying of Yale graduate student Annie Le had something in common with the victim — he, too, was engaged.
Yale grad student Annie Le went missing last Tuesday; State police Sunday found Annie Le’s body in a wall in the basement of a lab building where she worked at 10 Amistad St.; it was supposed to be her wedding day. No arrests have been made in her murder.
A prime suspect is a 24-year-old Yale lab tech who until this past week worked at 10 Amistad St. among other locations. His identity was confirmed by officials close to the probe. The Independent is withholding his name.
The suspect’s 23-year-old girlfriend has a blog on MySpace named after her and the suspect. The suspect is engaged to be married, according to a blog posting on the couple’s blog dated May 25. At the time, his fiancée described her mood as “giddy.”
The post was on a public section of the page that suddenly was changed to private around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The girlfriend works in the same Yale lab tech department as the suspect.
After Annie Le was reported missing last week, more than 100 law enforcement agents swarmed the city for clues to her death. The media swarmed into town, too, as a transfixed nation has watched the mystery unfold.
On Tuesday afternoon, reporters traipsed up and down outside the Middletown apartment where the suspect and his fiancée live. They knocked on neighbors’ doors in search of clues to his identity.
A few clues were made public on the couple’s blog. Parts of the blog remain public; others were removed from public view.
“I … recently moved to Middletown, CT with my wonderful boyfriend,” wrote the suspect’s girlfriend. The couple used to play softball together on a New Haven team.
The suspect is an animal technician at an animal resources lab at Yale.
His fiancée apparently has an interest in animals, too.
“I love animals!! I have 2 horses, a shiba inu and 2 cats,” she wrote.
She described her boyfriend as “a bit naive, doesn’t always use the best judgement, definitly [sic] is not the best judge of character but, he is a good guy.”
He “has a hard time hurting peoples’ feelings,” she wrote.
“He has a big heart and tries to see the best in people ALL THE TIME! even when everyone else is telling him that the person is a psycho or that the person can’t be trusted. he thinks everyone deserves a second chance.”
She added a few loving words for her “great” inlaws.
“I love my extended family!!” she wrote.
Christine Stuart contributed reporting from Middletown.
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Posted by: Nic | September 15, 2009 5:37 PM
If this is true, this is so sad.
Posted by: asdf | September 15, 2009 6:28 PM
This better be the person who did it, because his name is being published at other sites. Thank you for the good sense to not publish his name at this time--ever since the NHPD took the case over, the leaks have been coming out at a pretty fast pace.
I really don't understand what there is to gain by releasing his name--if you don't have enough evidence to arrest him, then you don't have enough evidence to smear him in the media.
Posted by: ojn | September 15, 2009 6:40 PM
I hope the police do their diligence and bring closure and justice to this case. The murderer's life should not be more precious than the victim's!!!
Posted by: ace | September 15, 2009 7:06 PM
The Dean and the police assured us it was not a random act. This must mean the muderer was know by Le. Check Le's Facebook, cellphone numbers, emails.. then cross reference this with those with access to the basement. Case solved.(or atleast a very short list) then run DNA. The only person who would refuse, would be the murderer.
Posted by: DR | September 15, 2009 7:08 PM
The Independent has done a fantastic job with this tragic story.
Posted by: Eric | September 15, 2009 7:17 PM
Paul...Could you please retire the word 'grisly'? You've used it in just about every article on this tragedy, and now, other sources have picked it up. Find a synonym...please?
[Editor's note: Deal. If we forget, please email me immediately.]
Posted by: not on nh | September 15, 2009 7:21 PM
You are doing great reporting on this case.
Posted by: anon | September 15, 2009 7:27 PM
Nice going NHPD. You just did it again. You leak this little piece, that little piece, you leak to someone who won't run the name while those who will use every clue you leak to find the ID.
You never learn - as soon as you take over the investigation from the FBI, we have what?
This is what we have: A 24-year-old kid named a prime suspect, a kid who handles animals at work and at home, dogs, cats, horses and lab animals, has scratches on him and actually AGREED to take a lie detector test, which are notoriously inaccurate and never admissable in court.
He better be the one because if he isn't, you are dumber than the press who trampled the producer today.
Posted by: Columbo | September 15, 2009 7:46 PM
I predict that this was NOT a crime of passion. At the university where I was a grad student in Canada, some of the professors and students were quite rude and condescending towards the lab technicians, especially if they thought the lab tech did something to "screw up" an experiment.
Perhaps the lab tech was professionally angered by Annie Le due to a similar confrontation?
Posted by: robn | September 15, 2009 7:48 PM
wow...a white male aged 18-45 who knew the victim...who would have guessed?
Posted by: 32295584767111 | September 15, 2009 8:49 PM
Was this the first murder this year in New Haven? I like prurience as much as the next person, but in the grand scheme of things this is hardly news and should have been relegated to the police report on the sidebar. I'd rather read Streever's boasts about his contributions to the community than yet another post about Le. I hate the guy, but something about Howard Dean's New Haven appearance yesterday seems more worthy than more than half a dozen posts about a murder that was likely committed by an acquaintance. The public at large has no reason to fear and, in my opinion, perhaps little reason to care.
Posted by: Carole | September 15, 2009 8:56 PM
I have no doubt some grad students behave rudely and arrogantly. But to suggest that Annie Le -- who, by the way, has been described by those who knew her as extremely friendly and people-oriented -- might have invited murder by sneering at a lab tech is certainly the most offensive thing I've heard about this case.
Posted by: Doug | September 15, 2009 9:32 PM
Good decision, Melissa & Paul. No need to rush out with the name. You've got the story either way.
Posted by: Yale Empolyee | September 15, 2009 9:46 PM
I am shocked, I did experiments in another building and saw both him and her. His fiance was very nice. He was a hard
worker and seemed in love with her. He was always helpful and seemed liked by all the staff. Who would of guessed the evil he could do.
Posted by: former research lab tech | September 15, 2009 9:58 PM
Columbo, I couldn't agree more. That's what I thought from the minute they'd reported she didn't leave the building, then found her body there. In grad school, I had a lot of professionally jealous fellow grad students who'd take my equipment that my research grant paid for, & wouldn't even ask...as the only single mom who was performing better than the men in a male-dominated manufacturing field, their jealousy was legendary. So was it a crime of "passion", not romantic passion -- passionate RAGE as in ANGER at her. Just her having the NSF grant would be enough to either 1. make her feel entitled therefore treat the lab tech like krap, or blame him for problems w/her animals, or 2. make others jealous professionally - so maybe they did stuff that she blamed on this lab tech. I don't want to blame the victim or side with the murderer, but do know 'stuff happens' in these labs and it's not pretty & romantic.
Posted by: ACE | September 15, 2009 10:08 PM
their myspace http://www.myspace.com/jenniferhromadka
Posted by: Newb | September 15, 2009 11:23 PM
I don't live in the US, so I"m not familiar with the procedures, but I can't understand how a person who's not offically charged with any crime can have his or her name and face plastered on the media. What if it turns out to be someone else?
Posted by: strangerthanfiction | September 15, 2009 11:47 PM
Paul Bass and the NHI staff are to be commended for scooping the entire national press corps on this story at every turn. Really outstanding coverage!
Posted by: tula | September 16, 2009 12:44 AM
This is a sad fact about the American media, particularly the main stream media. All they care about is making money and ratings. They will do anything to sensationalize a story. It is sick.
That said, it is very commendable that the Independent did not publish the name of the person of suspect. This is responsible journalism extant.
Posted by: robert | September 16, 2009 1:01 AM
NHPD HAD ALL TIME (7 DAYS AND THE BLOODY CLOTH) IN THEIR HANDS BUT STILL CAN'T NAME A SUSPECT OR ARRESTED ONE. IT'S VERY DIGUSTED. I HOPE THEY DON'T OVERCOOK THE EVIDENCES OR MAKE THEM LIKE AN OJ CASE.
Posted by: wow | September 16, 2009 1:11 AM
wow that myspace link has been deleted....
Posted by: BJean | September 16, 2009 1:19 AM
It doesn't matter if Annie Le did in fact got on to the Lab Tech or treated him like crap, it just doesn't give him the right to kill her. But reading from all the comments from people that knew her it doesn't seem possible that she would had done that. I just hope that if he is proven to be the one that he pays with his life.
Posted by: magnoliasouth | September 16, 2009 3:06 AM
asdf: I guess you posted just a few hours too soon, eh? The police released his name.
If this turns out to be another Richard Jewell incident, the police will have egg all over their faces by naming the man.
They are trying to give themselves a convenient out-clause by saying he isn't a suspect, even though they announced that they were searching his house and doing DNA tests on him. That's like saying they have an egg found in a chicken's nest but isn't necessarily a chicken egg.
Posted by: Farwhelted | September 16, 2009 5:38 AM
You Spar Strangled Spanners don`t half get in a tizz over a killing,considering how common such actions are in the land seen by the rest of the world as having no power and too much might.Surely the only ones who should have an interest in this are the slain girls family,friends and law.Why is everyone worried about the guy "of interest" ,surely the local cops have watched enough CSI to be able to get the right man.Mind you,with what sounds like an area for animal torture,maybe they are all guilty in the eyes of humanity.
Posted by: scott | September 16, 2009 7:08 AM
Wouldn't surprise me if she walked in on some sort of animal cruelty or something even more sinister.
Posted by: Smith | September 16, 2009 7:48 AM
I consider a brilliant young woman doing an earnest job at a prestigious university being murdered completely newsworthy. I think our society just lost a very valuable member of society and yes - we should remember her and expose the dangers to young women on campus and elsewhere by use of the media. Just maybe a young woman somewhere will be more prepared today because of your coverage.
Posted by: John | September 16, 2009 8:32 AM
Thanks to the New Haven Independent for using the appropriate word "suspect" instead of that "person of interest" foolishness.
Posted by: JNM | September 16, 2009 8:42 AM
I lived in the building at 511 Main Street in West Haven where both him and his girlfriend would spend alot of time when not at work at Yale. This was prior to the move to Middletown. They were both really nice people. He was definately a person that cared both about people and animals. This is very sad. There must be more to this story.
Posted by: looly | September 16, 2009 9:11 AM
It should really be very simple. Unless he is being charged his name should not be used. If enough evidence is available and he is charged then his name can be used. It should be a law. It is not a question of the "murderers life being more precious than the victims". NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED YET. Until someone is it is simple...no names...no pictures. If it isn't him, then one life is lost and another one ruined. If it turns out to be him, THEN crucify him in the media and anywhere else.
Posted by: dogger | September 16, 2009 9:44 AM
Too bad I can't enjoy this site as much as the one on the NH Register. Too much time is elapsing here between posts, meaning there can be no continuity.
Sorry. Out of here. With news breaking almost every hour, someone should be monitoring this site for content every minute. This is not the time to be frugal.
Posted by: Resident | September 16, 2009 9:55 AM
I wonder whether she stumbled on some illegal activity and was killed to keep her permanently quiet... Pharmacology research involves present and future prescription drugs and their extensive testing on lab animals. Technicians are not particularly well-paid or respected and could realize handsome profits by selling some of this stuff out the back door.
Posted by: Debra Congram | September 16, 2009 9:56 AM
Honestly, what pansies some of you are, worried about this guy's feelings getting hurt because his name gets out. For god's sake, this is a murder investigation. Someone stuffed a body in a wall, stuffed bloody clothes in the ceiling and took off. It's sad, messy stuff, it's a tedious investigation and things get out. If someone else ends up guilty no one will remember this guy, and frankly there are other people I'd rather feel badly about, like the victim's family.
Posted by: Rob Canada | September 16, 2009 10:04 AM
I am amazed at two things: How could the news media report his name, while he is simply a person who might have been at the wrong place/ wrong time? and... how many people in this blog have not "jumped" but "leaped" to conclusions.
There is clearly more to the story than we know, let the investigators do their job.
Posted by: Tim | September 16, 2009 12:56 PM
I guess people in here are more interest in the guy and feel sympathy for him rather than paying attention to the victim. It just another girl who happened to die. The world is getting scarier and I am speechless. There have been cases which also involved naming and showing the suspect faces but how come i don't see anyone care to mention. Is it because this time the "suspect" is an "adorable looking white male?" I have never seen anyone cares if a "black" male suspect face is covering all over the media.
Posted by: Carolyn Florida | September 16, 2009 12:56 PM
In this case...until the tests are back from the person of interest.
silence is golden =\
Posted by: dee | September 16, 2009 1:16 PM
Debra, I doubt you'd feel that way if it was a member of your family whose name "got out." And if he is NOT charged, and no one IS charged, you can bet his name will never be forgotten---just like that Yale professor who was mercilessly smeared by the NHPD in the Jovin murder 11 years ago. The guy was innocent (DNA testing eventually cleared him), but it was too late--he couldn't get anyone to hire him for years. So if you think there's no consequences to being wrongly named in a murder investigation, you are sadly mistaken.
What is GAINED by reporting his name now, before any charges are filed? What is the point, except ratings? Nothing. So keep it under wraps until you're ready to charge.
I guess people in here are more interest in the guy and feel sympathy for him rather than paying attention to the victim. It just another girl who happened to die. The world is getting scarier and I am speechless.
No offense intended, but this is exactly the hysteria for which Paul Bass is to be commended for having avoided in his coverage of this situation. Proper legal work takes time; if there is a clear case to be made, we don't want it tainted by improper procedure. We also don't want the police to stop checking other possible leads - what if this isn't the killer?
Posted by: Dummies!! | September 16, 2009 2:18 PM
Ummmm for one he isn't a suspect he is a person of interest maybe he was closest to when it happened maybe his ID card showed he was in a room across from where she was found mayb he could tell them the most about why he saw or heard and mayb that's why they need him!!! He int suspected in killing her and I hatethe media and Annie le was a great person and so is he!! He being treated like that guy from the murder 11 years ago! Gosh!!
Posted by: magnoliasouth | September 16, 2009 4:24 PM
What if YOU were being targeted by the police and YOUR name was released? What if YOU did NOT do it?
What if your neighbors began cheering when you were taken away in a car when no evidence has been found (yet)? I mean, they only took the DNA samples AFTER they released his name! You would surely change your tune.
I'm all for victims rights, I believe in the death penalty, I believe in 3-strikes laws and I don't believe in parole, EVER.
Yet this guy isn't even being charged. Charged!!!! What if they're wrong? Then what?
His name should only be released IF they're going to charge him. If he never gets charged, he can file a defamation lawsuit and I if he doesn't get charged, I hope he does.
Posted by: my take | September 16, 2009 4:56 PM
just my 2 cents...
this poor guy was obviously watching the tv reports about the investigation having hundreds of pieces of evidence, etc etc. if he did it, don't you think he would realize that they would find out, and do you really think he would just sit around and wait to be arrested, after so brutally murdering Le, and stuffing her into a wall opening? doesn't fly. must be more to this story.
Posted by: Interested Observer | September 16, 2009 7:06 PM
Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it SEEMS like the police are saying that this person of interest and his girlfriend were observed to be packing up and leaving their apartment a few days before he was taken in by police; moving their clothes, animals and such out... now why would that be? Just a coincidence? Perhaps, but it seems kinda interesting, considering it was a few days after the murder and right before the body was found.
Posted by: oneshot | September 16, 2009 7:21 PM
the liberal newspaper removed my post from the previous day in which I stated that often there's hostility between the lab techs & the grad students, even between the grad students themselves, in terms of professional jealousy. in fact, the NSF grantees may show an unbridled sense of entitlement that's quite grating on a day-2-day basis. I guess liberal newspapers don't want to look that close into truths, because they rely on sensationalism, on conjecture, to drive sales. but I never, ever, thought this was a tale of 3 lovers, 1 being jilted. never. having been in R&D myself, in a male-dominated field as one of the few single moms at the time, my specialized equipment was often dismantled from the lab I alone used & it was always a case of professional jealousy & a means of slowing my work down. seeing how intense she was about her work, & knowing the close-knit "society" within research, & knowing there wasn't a professor waiting in the wings who'd lost everything he had for Ms. Le & then had gotten dumped by her, the prevailing "theory" that it was a "jealous lover" who murdered her made no sense to me. glad to see my commonsense & experience validated over & above the sensationalistic story perpetuated in the liberal newspaper. blink once & you'll miss my post before the paper takes it down. :)
Posted by: jinda | September 16, 2009 8:34 PM
Just got a feeling about this guy after hearing about the emails. I have always felt deeply for what she must have gone through. BUT, maybe HE walked into some situation of extreme animal cruelty. He had already complained to her about the way she treated the animals by email. Surely he should have reported wrong-doing, but maybe there was a confrontation that spun out of control.
Posted by: leslie | September 16, 2009 8:38 PM
I think the NH police department took their sweet time trying to find her - why did they not find her the day she went missing, if in fact they had her going into that building via video. It was not until days later that she was found? Does anyone know if Annie was friends with this lab tecH?
I cannot believe it took so for them to narrow down to this young man?
Posted by: streever | September 16, 2009 10:11 PM
if you actually follow the NH Register that closely, you know there isn't new information "every minute". Kudos to Paul & the NHI for not falling into the slavish devotion to readers who need to know more.
Posted by: har | September 17, 2009 2:22 AM
It seems, according to recent news reports, that this young man's DNA is a postive match and it seems that he is the killer. I find it interesting that so many posters here are so much more worried about the suspected killer than they are about the victim and her family and fiance. I am fairly sure that if the press is leaking his name there is solid reason to believe that he is guilty. There will be a trial and I am sure that this young man's lawyer will use any evidence he could find to protect his client, so I wouldn't worry about the murderer, I'd worry about the victim's family and the impact of this crime on them.
Maybe this is a reflection of the cultural norms and behavior that have caused the US to be one of the most immoral and disgusting places on the planet to live?
Posted by: William Kurtz | September 17, 2009 8:28 AM
Har said, "I find it interesting that so many posters here are so much more worried about the suspected killer than they are about the victim and her family and fiance."
What I find interesting is the idea that concern is some kind of zero-sum game in which a desire to see the rights of suspected or charged people observed is somehow inconsistent with sympathy for the victims of crime and that there's only so much "worry" to go around.
History lesson: The rights of the accused were prominent in the minds of the founders of the country; four of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights explicitly concern the protections afforded to accused persons in the United States judicial system. It's hard to think of anything more fundamentally American than the presumption of innocence.
Careful, thorough investigations that follow proper procedures and are consistent with constitutional protections are what ultimately do the greatest justice to the victims of crime.
Also on a usage note, typically the press doesn't 'leak' a name; it's leaked to the press; by the time you read information in the press it's already been leaked. Finally, there may be 'solid reason to believe that he is guilty' (and for the record, I personally have a lot of confidence in Chief Lewis) but examples are not hard to find of people arrested or accused in error of high-profile crimes.
Posted by: Whaaat? | September 17, 2009 9:29 AM
Don't let the door hit you on the a** on the way over the border. There are a lot of great things about this country and many, including some in my family, have given their lives for her. What have you done lately?? Look carefully at the alternatives before you tear us down.
Posted by: har | September 17, 2009 12:14 PM
Um, in response to Whaaat, I DON'T live in the US and I am not American. My comments are those of someone looking at your culture from the outside.
Yes, it does seem to be a fundamentally American thing to be extremely concerned with the rights of the accused -- so much so that others see it as overly concerned at the expense of both current and future victims of violent crime committed by those same violent criminals.
And if this extreme care was actually effective and prevented innocent men from being convicted then one could say that it was for the good, but it doesn't seem to work that way, does it? There seems to be a whole lot of innocent people that have been exonerated too long after the fact while so many rapists and perverts roam free to say that your judicial system is effective or fair.
And it seems that this same cultural tendency to vilify the victim and pamper the perpetrator leads you all to be unable to allow your soldiers to fight terrorism in Iraq or Afghanistan for fear of insulting some suicide bomber or other.
Posted by: my take | September 17, 2009 1:21 PM
just for the record, I have no sympathy for the murderer, I do however have great problems with police pinning it on the first person who denies them a dna sample. then, in fact the real killer will go free, that scares me more than having imbeciles like you on this planet.
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