APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. — Tempe police said Friday that a cause of death
remained unclear in the case of a 19-year-old college student whose body was
found last week in a desert wash.
The death of Adrienne Salinas hasn’t officially been classified as a homicide,
even though it was labeled as one in some media reports, Tempe police Sgt.
Michael Pooley said.
He acknowledged in an interview that police were treating the death as a
homicide for investigative purposes, but said the medical examiner hasn’t
officially determined the cause or manner of death.
Autopsy results could take another week or two, he said.
The disappearance of the Gateway Community College student became the subject
of an intensive investigation after she was last seen in the early morning of
Police said she was headed to her boyfriend’s Scottsdale home but didn’t
arrive. Her damaged car was found near her apartment.
Her remains were found on Aug. 6 in a wash in Apache Junction and formally
identified on Thursday.
A search along the wash continued Friday.
Pooley said Salinas’ cellphone hasn’t been located. Police also were looking
for clothing, jewelry and other objects.
Until the body was found, police had little go on other than cellphone records
showing calls to her boyfriend and a taxi company.
Investigators searched a lake in Tempe, canvassed her neighborhood on multiple
occasions, and interviewed hundreds of people.
Salinas’ family handed out fliers in hopes of getting a break in the case.