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Vigil honors memory of AZ woman who vanished 1 year ago

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Tempe, AZ (KPHO) – A vigil was held in Tempe on Sunday evening on the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Adrienne Salinas, a student at a Maricopa County community college, who vanished after leaving a party.

A number of police agencies and the FBI Violent Crime Squad have conducted more than 500 interviews and investigated hundreds of leads since her skeletal remains were found by a nearby homeowner in early August in a wash near State Route 88 and Lost Dutchman Boulevard.

After comparing the remains to reported missing persons from around the state, Salinas was the only person to match the description.

The remains were discovered under a pile of silt and debris carried down the wash from a late-July flood in Apache Junction.

An autopsy said the manner of her death is undetermined. [Click here to read the report (PDF)]

The 19-year-old college student had marijuana in her system, the report said.

Tempe police are investigating her death as a homicide, but have not publicly identified any suspects.

Salinas disappeared June 15, 2013, after leaving a party. Investigators say she was headed to her boyfriend’s apartment when her car hit a curb and got two flat tires just a few blocks from her apartment, near Hardy Drive and Fifth Street, in Tempe.

Phone records show that she called a cab and asked the driver to meet her at a nearby gas station, but Salinas never showed up.

Salinas’ boyfriend, Francisco Arteaga, along with Salinas’ family and many friends, plastered the city with posters of the young woman.

Anyone with information that could help in the Salinas case are asked to call Tempe police at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.

People can also call Silent Witness detectives toll free at 1-800-343-TIPS. Your call will remain anonymous. Another way to leave a message is to head to the website silentwitness.org.

By Phil Benson