The San Mateo family of Mt. Carmel Grad, Michelle Le is frustrated with the police dept and think they are not doing enough to search for Michelle.
I have seen similar frustration by other families that don’t believe the police are doing enough, but this is the first time I have ever seem a family release a public statement about it.
Most families of missing persons, rely on the police exclusively. Many don’t have any recourse, but the police, as they don’t have the money to hire a PI. Many other families watch too much TV and believe the police will drop whatever they are doing to look for their MP. It is not till several days to weeks later, before they realize they probably could have done more.
The quality of the police dept. is different from city to city to state to state. Some families live in a city where the police dept is creme de la creme and other families live in a city where the police dept has had little experience in handling MP cases.
Not until there is mandatory Missing Person Depts. in each and every police station in the U.S., will there ever be a standard of procedure and training dedicated just to missing persons.
The family’s released statement reads:
“Following Michelle’s vigil Friday, our efforts toward bringing Michelle home have been reinvigorated by the hundreds of supporters in attendance. Though we continue to stay positive and optimistic for her return, we need more resources and personnel with the highest priority to analyze the evidence to bring her home quickly. Currently, we only have family members, friends and volunteers helping us with media collaboration, search parties, and case updates.
Our family believes the Hayward Police Department is not adequately staffed and do not have enough personnel to work on a missing person case. We have been assured they have personnel working ‘around the clock,’ yet only six personnel are assigned to the team, and of those, three recently went on vacation. We have also been assigned a new public affairs officer. Shockingly, the supervising investigator for Michelle’s case told our family they do not have much experience working missing persons cases. As an example, her apartment was not searched until Tuesday, four days after her disappearance, and whatever evidence they recovered from her car will take a month to process. The Hayward Police Department did put pressure on the lab to get it expedited, but even then it will take two weeks before any results come back. Though the FBI received her computers early in the week, they did not receive her cell phone records until Thursday. We believe that if personnel experienced in missing persons cases were assigned a lead role, evidence (like her cell phone records) would be analyzed expeditiously, and we would also see her picture and information posted on the FBI’s website under the Missing Persons link.
Further, we have not been given regular updates. At times, we have had to pull information from the police; even now we have to wait through the weekend to receive our next update, which will be in the form of a public address, not directed personally to our family. We understand the importance of not compromising the investigation, as well as the importance of jurisdiction and procedure; however, it fails to inspire confidence in their performance when they report to the media they have no new leads and have to wait for evidence analysis more than one week later.
We are asking the FBI to assume a lead role in the search for Michelle by providing personnel with experience in missing persons to the investigating team, and giving the evidence analysis the highest priority to bring Michelle home.
Not only are our combined efforts gaining national attention, our grassroots efforts have garnered over 62,000 supporters on Facebook alone. We continually thank Michelle’s loved ones, the public, the community and the press for their support, and we hope to get some answers to everyone soon.”