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Annie Le Yale grad student goes missing and turns up murdered in her lab! Her body is found buried in a wall on her wedding day. Who could do this to Annie?


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  #126  
Old 09-25-2009, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noway View Post
I clicked on the link you provided and found that nothing was mentioned about search dogs looking for live human scent:

Investigators had attempted to bring a cadaver dog into the building earlier in the week, but because of the large number of animals in the laboratory, the dogs were unable to do a thorough search. Le, from Placerville, Calif., was to have been married Sunday at the North Ritz Club in Syosset, N.Y., to Jonathan Widawsky, a graduate student at Columbia University in New York. Police have said that he is not a suspect and is helping with the investigation.

...

It wasn't until five days after her disappearance that members of the state police crime squad, with the assistance of a cadaver dog, discovered her fully-clothed body. She was wearing the same clothes as seen in a video of her entering the building last Tuesday morning, a source said.


ETA: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/09...in;contentBody

This link does talk about search dogs on September 10, but may not distinguish between search and cadaver dogs, since some do both.
Not sure what your point is BUT SEARCH dogs were the first on the scene, the bloodhounds of the CT Troopers, as Ms Le was considered a missing person. The CADAVER dogs were introduced to the scene later in the week, the search was not completed successfully for reasons stated. The cadaver dogs were re-introduced to the site and given the passage of time, the putrescine and cadaverine were present in higher concentrations. Cadaver dogs seek out the chemicals of decomposition, some of the over 30 decomp. chemicals are shared within the animal kingdom but these dogs are trained to react to the scents of human decomposition, search dogs in this case are not cadaver dogs.

The cadaver dogs DEFINITELY demonstrated a "hit" behavior.
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  #127  
Old 09-25-2009, 11:08 PM
Shlock Homes Shlock Homes is offline
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Originally Posted by Emily Booth View Post
Please post the source for your last statement. My understanding is a cadaver dog found Annie's body on Sunday.
I will need to look into that one. Maybe I read it from a person posting here and not from an article. I was under the impression that they had already opened up and searched the chases in the lab area earlier in the week, but couldn't see her because of the way she was placed. I am aware that the cadaver dog was used to find her body on Sunday. If they didn't search the chase previously, I don't understand why.

Edit:

I found the message. It was in the Lab and Building thread posted by Scandi:

"We read that LE had 100 officers that searched that bldg thoroughly. The article mentioned they searched all the chases. I interpreted that to mean all the ones they could open up {with a butter knife ;} and look into. They found nothing in those first searches except the clothing in the dropped ceiling tiles."

I couldn't find an article that mentioned chase specifically, but I did find this:

http://www.courant.com/community/new...,6680148.story

"More than 100 local, state and federal police had been searching the building for days, using blueprints to uncover any place where evidence or Le's body could be hidden."

Was there another article that specifically mentioned the chases were searched? Or can we just assume they thoroughly searched the lab and chases first before fanning out into the rest of the building?

Last edited by Shlock Homes; 09-26-2009 at 12:04 AM.
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  #128  
Old 09-25-2009, 11:48 PM
PatientOne PatientOne is offline
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Originally Posted by debirlfan View Post
I'm not sure about that - have seen it done both ways. Think about it - a drop ceiling would conceal wiring/sprinkler pipes/ventilation ducts etc., and it would be logical to have unobstructed access to the chases where pipes and the like run vertically.

As to him climbing on the grid holding the ceiling, I wasn't suggesting that. If he planned to dump her body over the top of the wall, I would assume he would climb onto a counter or table at the side of the side of the room, and remove the ceiling tile closest to the wall, lift her though the opening, and over the top of the wall.
If the chase in question is a type that doesn't require an access panel, it's probable Annie's body was placed there in the scenario described. How else would he get her in there otherwise?

But if this was a plumbing chase (I read it was near a bathroom), there's a greater possibility that it has an access panel, especially in a recently-constructed building like Amistad, so that plumbers or maintenance people could quickly and conveniently shut off water supply, which is often a necessary first step in plumbing repairs. Having to guess where a shut-off valve is located, much less needing to climb up into the ceiling to reach it, would be very poor design. Overflowing water is a property manager's nightmare and it can quickly cause widespread damage.

If the chase in question is an electrical or telecommunications chase, RC would risk causing related and important problems that contractors would be called upon to troubleshoot and resolve with dispatch, thus allowing for quicker discovery of the body. But maybe RC was stupid and lucky enough to have avoided such an outcome if that's the case.

The articles I read describing the removal of Annie's body from the chase said it was deconstructed so as not to destroy evidence, which I interpreted as inferring there could've been another way to remove her body (i.e. an access panel). But maybe I'm wrong!!! Maybe it was a chase without an access panel and LE didn't want to have to hoist her body up and over again to remove her from it.

Last edited by PatientOne; 09-25-2009 at 11:58 PM.
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  #129  
Old 09-25-2009, 11:52 PM
Shlock Homes Shlock Homes is offline
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I can't remember which discussion thread it was mentioned in, but the alarm at 12:40pm or so on Sept 8th was possibly set off automatically, and not manually. Is it possible the placing of the body in that plumbing chase could have tripped the alarm by accident? It hasn't been said where the alarm was sourced, only that it was in the basement.
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  #130  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:35 AM
Emily Booth Emily Booth is offline
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It was an automatic steam alarm.

Last edited by Emily Booth; 09-26-2009 at 12:47 AM.
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  #131  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:38 AM
Shlock Homes Shlock Homes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Booth View Post
It was an automatic steam alarm.
Could it have tripped if someone had tampered with anything inside the chase?
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  #132  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:48 AM
Emily Booth Emily Booth is offline
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Correction: it was a fire alarm triggered by steam from a laboratory hood. The location of the alarm was never given as far as I know.
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  #133  
Old 09-26-2009, 11:33 PM
PatientOne PatientOne is offline
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Originally Posted by Shlock Homes View Post
Could it have tripped if someone had tampered with anything inside the chase?
We should probably be discussing this in The Alarm thread. Nevertheless, I'll give it a shot here. It's my experience that fire alarms function via dedicated telephone lines. By dedicated, I mean telephone lines used solely for the purpose of fire alarms. Security contractors who monitor fire alarm systems can distinguish between sensors being activated by actual smoke, heat, steam, etc., and power failures in a system. When there's a power failure, security contractors call a designated person first, usually a building operations manager, owner, etc., to alert them of the power failure in the system. If they fail to contact anyone ASAP, then fire departments are dispatched as a precaution.

If reports are correct, a sensor actually detected excessive steam and triggered the alarm. So I doubt RC accidently yanked or severed anything in the chase and caused a power failure in the system.
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  #134  
Old 09-27-2009, 01:23 PM
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Noway Noway is offline
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Joypath, I was just pointing out that the link you provided only discussed cadaver dogs, not search dogs. And yes, I realized they were looking for a live Annie at first but was not sure whether the dogs they had were trained to look for both (some are). From what I've read since then, it seems they were "live scent only" dogs.

In response to Emily Booth's post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Booth
Please post the source for your last statement. My understanding is a cadaver dog found Annie's body on Sunday.

Asked in response to:
Originally Posted by Shlock Homes
Unless he was disposing of the body without his shirt on, he wouldn't have scratches on his back, and abrasions on his arms would be more evident. Plus, they would have found pieces of his skin, not just flakes, around the opening.

It definitely doesn't explain how his pen got in there. Is the place of entry at chest level? It sounded like it was out of the way, which is why they didn't find the body the first time they looked in the chase.
The biggest break in the case came from a German shepherd named Max handled by State Trooper Nick Leary, according to a law enforcement official.

Max, who is trained in body recognition, was first sent to search through mounds of garbage that had been sent out for incineration from the lab. On Sunday he was taken to the basement of the lab building, where he picked up Ms. Le’s scent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/19/ny...yale.html?_r=1

Last edited by Noway; 09-27-2009 at 09:38 PM.
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  #135  
Old 09-27-2009, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by PatientOne View Post
In a fairly new building like the Amistad facility, chase construction would've preceded installation of the lay-in ceiling grid. This means that the grid is installed around the contours of walls. So, probability of the scenario of RC climbing through lay-in ceiling tiles and hoisting Annie's body up and over into the chase is unlikely. Besides, all of that weight would've caused the grid and thus the ceiling to collapse.
(bolding mine)

Exactly my thoughts also. MOO
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  #136  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:24 PM
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A "foul odor" led investigators to her body, the source said.
The space where Le was found -- 8 inches deep and covered by a metal panel "the size of a computer screen" -- houses a vertical and a horizontal water pipe.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/nationa...jtrH2luFH8HrtI


Considering the source is the NYPost, we should keep this handy. Never know when you're going to need a grain of salt (or two).

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  #137  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:25 PM
Emily Booth Emily Booth is offline
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That was an excellent find, Noway! (My quoted post was a response to a statement made by someone else, not you -- just so you know!)
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  #138  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:32 PM
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...after news emerged that police have a “serious” suspect in the case. Police found the remains of Annie Le, a 24 year-old pharmacology PhD. student, inside a mechanical chase at a Yale medical building Sunday, the day she was supposed to get married.

http://newhavenindependent.org/archi...e_were_two.php
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  #139  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:33 PM
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Noway Noway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Booth View Post
That was an excellent find, Noway! (My quoted post was a response to a statement made by someone else, not you -- just so you know!)
Yes, I was copy post challenged today and didn't capture both posts. ETA: Made a lame attempt to get that point across now, and both posts are in there.


btw, The posts about the chase were not in response to anyone.

Last edited by Noway; 09-27-2009 at 09:39 PM.
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  #140  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:57 PM
Shlock Homes Shlock Homes is offline
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Originally Posted by Noway View Post
A "foul odor" led investigators to her body, the source said.
The space where Le was found -- 8 inches deep and covered by a metal panel "the size of a computer screen" -- houses a vertical and a horizontal water pipe.
So it wasn't the work of the cadaver dog, but a sensitive nose of one of the investigators?

The FBI were photographed searching some dumpster around the school in hazmat costumes a couple of days or so after Annie disappeared. Why did they search there and not look for areas in the lab where a body could be hidden, since she wasn't spotted leaving the lab on camera? If that's the only way in and out, wouldn't it be safe to say that she was still in there?
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  #141  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Shlock Homes View Post
So it wasn't the work of the cadaver dog, but a sensitive nose of one of the investigators?

The FBI were photographed searching some dumpster around the school in hazmat costumes a couple of days or so after Annie disappeared. Why did they search there and not look for areas in the lab where a body could be hidden, since she wasn't spotted leaving the lab on camera? If that's the only way in and out, wouldn't it be safe to say that she was still in there?
Given the time passage from probable point of death: 9/8 to date of primary discovery 9/13, the smell of decomposition would be increasing to the point of possible human recognition in addition to that of cadaver dog recognition of putrescine and cadaverine but credit for the discovery does go to the cadaver dog. Once the chase was opened, the essence of decomp was very noticable!
The dumpster and Hartford dump site (where the facility waste was depositied) was part of the standard search protocol, a traditional manner of body disposal is to "dump" it into the trash and while they were searching for a body, they were also searching for other pieces of evidence (clothing, towels,body parts, saturated toweling). There was a working theory that her body had been moved from the research laboratory, that transport had been made via the covered laboratory cart.

Remember that the working theory on 9/8....late pm was a missing person and it remained that until the security card swipes were reviewed and the videos were checked and it was confirmed that she had not left the building. Also remember that the jurisdition of this case was with the Yale PD, the ancellary LE were acting as "consultants" and backup.

The building search was somewhat hindered by the sensitivity of the on-going experiments and animal scent interactions (yep, dead mice produce decomp chemicals too).

Was this a perfectly conducted investigation, hardly but the essence of the case and the resolution of the evidentiary materials appear to be intact.
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