TEMPE, Ariz. — Editor's note: The above video is about the response we've gotten since the release of our docuseries on the investigation of Adrienne Salinas's murder.
Nearly six years after her murder, there has never been a suspect in the murder of Adrienne Salinas. The 19-year-old went missing on June 15, 2013, and her body was found in the desert months later.
The 12 News I-Team's investigation provides new insight into the case through police records, including interrogation video, witness interviews and tips never before released to the public.
One question a viewer asked was about Adrienne’s cell phone and what the cell phone tracking data could show. The answer is: potentially a lot—if anyone knew where it was.
FULL STORY: 12news.com/salinas
Here's the timeline as we know it: Adrienne had a fight with her boyfriend and came back to her apartment, where a party was going on. She wanted no part of it and left in her car.
After Adrienne hit a curb and blew out two tires trying to drive back to her boyfriend’s apartment, she left the car a few blocks from her home and walked the rest of the way back home.
In the police report, there’s mention of a Blackberry cell phone after her car was found. The report never actually says whether it’s Adrienne’s phone, but it says it was found on the driver’s seat along with a notebook.
According to Tempe police, they photographed the phone before turning the car over to Adrienne’s family.
It was a full day later when a Tempe detective noticed the car had never been impounded. When they towed it to be searched for evidence, the police report says the phone and the notebook were no longer in the car.
Adrienne’s mom had the notebook, but no one admitted to knowing where the phone was.
So the only information police have to verify where Adrienne was are her phone records.
According to police, Adrienne’s phone was connected to a cell tower right by her home when she made her last phone call around 5 a.m. Before that, her phone was in the area of her boyfriend’s apartment.
But cell tower experts say it’s not that simple; Adrienne could have been miles away.
Ben Levitan is an expert in cell towers. He’s been a witness in court about this kind of thing. He says cell towers can put a phone in a general area, but that’s about it.
“It’s going to be about 12 square miles. And once that phone’s turned off, we don’t know. So, once she turned off that phone, we have no way of pinpointing her,” he said.
This means just because Adrienne’s last phone call hit at the tower at Hardy and University drives doesn’t necessarily mean she was anywhere near her apartment.
Levitan said what could tell police exactly where Adrienne went is her phone—the one that went missing.
Tempe police won’t comment on the phone, saying that information is part of their ongoing investigation.
But police still believe Adrienne made it back to the apartment because her roommates later found the clothes she was last seen in and her wallet in her room.
However, no one told police they saw her leave to catch the cab.
All of this leaves more questions. Did Adrienne actually make it home that night? And if she called for a cab from her wrecked car and left her wallet at home, how was she going to pay for the cab? And finally, what happened to that phone?
Keep the questions coming. We’re not done with this story yet.