Remains found in wash identified as Adrienne Salinas - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Remains found in wash identified as Adrienne Salinas

Searchers from various agencies check maps of an area in Apache Junction where skeletal remains were found.(Source: CBS 5 News) Searchers from various agencies check maps of an area in Apache Junction where skeletal remains were found.(Source: CBS 5 News)
Adrienne Salinas. (Source: Salinas family) Adrienne Salinas. (Source: Salinas family)
Adrienne Salinas. (Source: Salinas family) Adrienne Salinas. (Source: Salinas family)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

Tempe police have confirmed the skeletal remains found in Apache Junction are those of missing 19-year-old Adrienne Salinas.

Tempe police Sgt. Mike Pooley said confirmation was made, through DNA testing, by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. 

"At this point in the investigation, we do not conclusively know Adrienne's cause or manner of death. We will continue to work with the Medical Examiner's office and other law enforcement partners, but we cannot rule anything out and we have not as of yet classified this case as a homicide," Pooley said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Salinas' skeletal remains were found Aug. 6 by a nearby homeowner in a wash near State Route 88 and Lost Dutchman Boulevard, Tempe police said.

The area has been the center of several searches since the discovery of the remains, but the search area was significantly expanded Thursday to cover some rough terrain as detectives looked for related evidence.

As many as 100 personnel from 12 agencies scoured about two miles of the wash. Investigators will resume the search for evidence Friday morning looking for personal items, such as a wallet or cell phone, Pooley said.

"We don't believe she was dumped in the area where we are searching," Pooley said. Police said they believe recent rains could have swept her body down the wash.

Police have not identified any persons of interest, but, "We are determined to find who is responsible for this," Pooley said.

The body was taken to the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office in Tucson.

Salinas, a student at a Maricopa County community college, has been missing since June 15.

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.

Pooley said no suspects have been named, and no one has been ruled out in the disappearance of Salinas, including her boyfriend and the cab driver.

On the Adrienne Salinas Missing Facebook page, a post from a family member reads:

"Thank you for all of your support. I will be canceling this page. Adrienne is rejoicing with angels...walking on clear waters."

Salinas' aunt, Pamela Coss, released this statement to CBS 5 News before police announced her niece's death:

"There are no words to describe the anguish, the heartache and the hopelessness we feel about the unknown, because we have no answers. She is a young woman with a big heart and bright future. We are united in prayer and leaving it in God's hands. We love and miss our beloved Adrienne. We ask the community to continue to search and pray for her safe return home. We will be devastated if it's Adrienne; then the hunt will begin for her killer."

Tempe police said that hunt is well underway.

"Her family has been suffering for a very long time," Pooley said earlier Thursday. "They want some answers. And, we want to give them the answers they've been looking for."

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.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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