Mystery surrounding Adrienne Salinas' death remains unsolved - Fox 2 News Headlines

Mystery surrounding Adrienne Salinas' death remains unsolved

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Adrienne Salinas Adrienne Salinas
TEMPE, Ariz. -

It's been more than six months since a Tempe teen vanished and although Adrienne Salinas' body has been found, the mystery surrounding her death remains unsolved.

This is a case that tugs at people's heart strings -- a heartbreaking story.

19-year-old Salinas, a beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her, disappeared last June.  Her body was discovered two months later.

Days, weeks and months have passed and police still haven't narrowed down a scenario and there's a lot of people looking for answers: investigators, family members, friends and even spiritual mediums.

"It hurts still.. it's been six months after and it still hurts a lot."

Adrienne's longtime boyfriend, Francisco Arteaga, hasn't given up hope.  He is the person she was trying to get to the night she disappeared.

"It was a bad decision of her to go out at 4:30 in the morning," he said.

"We have very little to go on.  We're still continuing to look at different leads and we're still waiting for that big tip to come in," said Mike Pooley of the Tempe Police Department.

What leads they do have, detectives won't divulge.

They continue to look into tips, phone records, forensic evidence and surveillance video surrounding the night of June 15th.

Adrienne and her roommates had a party at their Tempe apartment. Also that night, Adrienne and her boyfriend, got into a fight, setting off the chain of events.

She left her apartment after 3:00 the morning, planning to drive to her boyfriend's place in Scottsdale.

A witness called 911 around 3:45, stating she saw Adrienne's car crash into a median. Exactly what happened after that crash is still unknown.

The two front tires of Adrienne's car were flattened.  She couldn't drive it anymore. Investigators believe she then walked back to her apartment a couple blocks away.

At 4:23 a.m., phone records show she called a cab and arranged to be picked up.

"I've never seen her take a taxi before.  That's not typical of her and it's not typical of her to go out in the middle of the night," said Arteaga.

Police believe Adrienne went back to her apartment before meeting up with the taxi, but no one at the party said they saw her come back. She then supposedly started walking to a gas station down the street where she told the cab driver to pick her up.

"And people would ask her why she'd take a taxi if she has a car.. I'm thinking she didn't want to deal with any of that, so she probably just called a taxi to pick her up at AM-PM away from the party."

Surveillance video shows the cab pulling up to the gas station around 5 a.m., but no sign of Adrienne.

At 5:07 a.m., the driver called her, but her phone was turned off.  She never showed up and that's where the trail went cold.

Investigators were stumped there was no trace of Adrienne.  They couldn't even track her cell phone because it was off.

Desperate for answers, the family consulted investigators with a different kind of sense -- they consulted a medium and one woman said she had an intuition of where Adrienne was.  She saw mountains in the background and she felt Adrienne was somewhere wet and cold.

Two months after Adrienne disappeared, her body was found in a wash in Apache Junction -- nearly 30 miles away from her home.

"So I started to see Superstition Mountains, so I just went with my gut feeling," said Alisa Fierro.

Whether or not you believe in life after death, Fierro turned out to be right.  She says her gut feeling told her Adrienne was in the Apache Junction area weeks before her body was found.

"What I do is something natural.. I become the instrument or the conduit," she said.

Fierro says she's in contact with Adrienne's spirit.

"This is what I keep getting for people.. to embrace life and make good decisions in your life.  So she's just pure love."

Investigators also paid Fierro a visit.

"I did ask them if I was considered a suspect or a subject and I'm neither," she said.

Despite her contact with Adrienne, Fierro says she doesn't know what happened to her.

And science hasn't been able to figure that out either.  An autopsy could not determine how she died.

"I don't think there's any question this person was murdered," said Dr. Phillip Keen, a retired medical examiner, who has worked on thousands of murder cases.  "Pretty sketchy.  It doesn't describe it.. has all fingers present.. it doesn't describe all limbs present or torso and head.. it doesn't describe any of that."

Investigators have yet to find the rest of Adrienne's body, which they believe may have been buried in the wash for weeks, if not months, then surfaced because of heavy rains.

"One side of the body is more mummified than the other, so if this was buried, it was maybe a partial burial," said Keen.

Investigators say Adrienne's boyfriend and the cab driver have been cleared as suspects in this case.

"There's nothing that says it was one person or now our detectives are open to anything that could've happened to Adrienne and that's what's so frustrating about this," said Pooley.

Did someone at the party do something to Adrienne?  Did something happen to her on the way to the gas station?

"At this point, is she trying to help people?  Point them in the direction to find out what happened to her.. who did this to her.. what happened to her..," said Fierro.  "I don't get anything.. I don't get any of that.  I don't get messages like that.  It's mostly just to help her family cope with her loss."

She wasn't just a girl with a beautiful smile, she was someone's daughter, someone's friend, someone's love.

"She probably wanted to go back to my house and fix things.. go back to my house, cuddle and fix things," said Arteaga.

Arteaga says he visits Adrienne's grave every week.  He knows someone out there can give police the break they need to give him, and her family, the answers they're waiting for.

"Of course I want justice."

Police still haven't found Adrienne's cell phone.  They believe it probably ran out of battery that night.

And they're still asking the public for help -- they're still waiting on that big break.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tempe Police Department at (480) 966-6211.

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