The Connecticut medical examiner concluded that a body recovered from a Yale University research lab was that of graduate student Annie Le. Friends, colleagues and students who didn't know her tried to come to terms Monday with her brutal death.
Le's body was found Sunday, the day she was to marry a Columbia University graduate student. The 24-year-old doctoral student in pharmacology had been missing for five days when police found her remains stuffed behind a wall of a lab where she was doing research with animals.
The New Haven Independent reported Monday that police, who had ruled out her fiance and a professor as suspects, were focusing on a lab technician who may have had romantic feelings she did not return. Two sources told the Independent that the technician had failed a lie detector test and had defensive injuries on his body.
In an e-mail to reporters, New Haven police spokesman Joe Avery didn't rule out the possibility of a suspect, saying, "Just a note to clarify there are no suspects in custody and no students involved in this case."
But Avery did say that Le's slaying was not "a random act," Los Angeles Times reports.
In the meantime, several hundred people turned out on the Yale campus for the vigil, crying and hugging. Le's roommate, Natalie Powers, said the 24-year-old graduate student in pharmacology "was as good a human being as you'd ever hope to meet."
"She was also really tenacious and had a sense of humor that was never far away, and she was tougher than you'd think by just looking at her," Powers said.
"That this horrible tragedy happened at all is incomprehensible, but that it happened to her, I think, is infinitely more so. It seems completely senseless."
Le's body was found Sunday hidden in a basement wall, while bloody clothes were found hidden above tiles in a drop ceiling elsewhere in the building, investigators said, CNN reports.
"The teachers that knew Annie and interacted with her are distraught," said DeVille, who came to the school after Le graduated. "They talk about the terrible waste of potential. It's very sad for everyone."
DeVille said the school was considering a memorial and wanted to "offer whatever kind of assistance and support to her family" that was possible.
Le's violent death has "caused us all to wonder about where things are going," DeVille said, and residents were mourning that "someone like this, so likable and willing to give back to the community, is now gone," Los Angeles Times reports.