‘Sinister’ text messages emerge after nursing student vanishes on tonight’s ‘Dateline’

U.S. & World

(NBC News) — Tonight on “Dateline,” when nursing student Michelle Le vanishes from a parking garage after leaving her training hospital, investigators tracked security camera footage and her cellphone to find out the truth.

During the two-hour episode, Keith Morrison interviews Michelle’s cousin Krystine Dinh, Michelle’s brother Michael Le and more.

Here is a preview of Morrison’s report:

Cell phones buzzed and chirped all afternoon that day after Michelle Le vanished from the watching web. Certainly, her iPhone hadn’t vanished. One creepy text after another popped up in the phones of her friends, her cousin, her brother.

“I just needed some time without anyone.”

“I had a bad night last night.”

“I don’t really want to talk to anyone right now.”

But then, after three hours of that, the texts stopped just as suddenly as they had begun. The last one simply said, “I’m sick.” So strange. So out of character.

To Michelle’s family and friends, it seemed obvious. Someone had Michelle’s phone. Someone who was not Michelle.

MICHAEL LE: And it just, the more that day, the more sinister, it – it felt like it was becoming.


MICHAEL LE: Having this person text back as Michelle … was just extremely, extremely terrifying.

KEITH MORRISON: What does that feel like, to go through that?

MICHAEL LE: It’s hard to put into words. Living nightmare, I think, is the closest thing.

In a way, as chilling as these messages were, they gave Michelle’s friends and family some hope, to them it seemed obvious that they were communicating with someone who had abducted Michelle. And so, their mission was now clear, Michelle didn’t just need to be found, Michelle needed to be rescued.

“Dateline: The Search for a Missing Student,” airs tonight on NBC4 at 9 p.m.

About “Dateline”

“Dateline NBC” is the longest-running series in NBC primetime history and is in its 29th season. Dateline is anchored by Lester Holt and features correspondents Andrea Canning, Josh Mankiewicz, Natalie Morales, Keith Morrison and Dennis Murphy.

Dateline is the #1 Friday newsmagazine and reaches more than 17 million people every week through its broadcast, and millions more through its social media platforms and podcasts.

The stories range from compelling mysteries to powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations. When major news breaks, they go to the scene, putting the pieces together to bring the viewer the full picture. And in every story they tell, they help the real people who lived the events share their journeys with the viewer.

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