People Magazine Investigates Recap for Darkness in the Desert
Nineteen year old Adrienne Salinas was beginning her life on her own when she went missing. Her father Rick described her as the typical ‘daddy’s little girl’ and says he raised her as a single dad.
Shainey Duggan and Alexandra Hill were close friends with Adrienne growing up. The three of them also had another friend named Rebecca that was part of their group.
Everyone described Adrienne as happy and friendly.
Growing up, Adrienne had a boyfriend named Fran who was a part of her life since the age of twelve.
After high school, Adrienne planned on attending community college and then Arizona State University. She moved into an apartment with Shainey and Rebecca, but remained close with her father, talking to him every day. Rick even always made sure the girls had food and were safe.
June 14th, 2013
On this day, the girls hosted a birthday party for a friend. Shainey noticed Adrienne was not her usual self and didn’t want to party.
The party was a bit wild, but the girls didn’t worry too much about Adrienne, despite her fighting with Fran. It isn’t until the next morning that they realized she was missing. They called her family and Rick reports her missing.
The Investigation Begins
After some questioning, the roommates said that she left with Fran during the party. She came back to get some belongings and drove off. What made this odd, however, was her car key was found in her room, along with the clothes she was wearing that night, her ID and her bank card.
Police recalled getting a call at 3am Saturday morning, where a white car was reported driving erratically and hit a curb. The caller reported the license plate number, which matched Adrienne’s.
Rick recalled finding the car, which was damaged. However, there was nothing else suspicious found in the car. Authorities were able to infer that she came home, but don’t know where she went after.
Phone records showed that she was talking to Fran that night and said that she was coming over.
Fran is then questioned and admitted that they were fighting over another girl. Adrienne stormed off during the fight and refused to go with him when he offered to take her home. He admitted he had missed calls from her after, but was asleep and didn’t answer.
Further investigation into the phone records showed that she called a cab, possibly to take her to Fran’s again. The father and son Tom Simon and Tom Jr, who work for the cab, claim she didn’t show up for the ride. Surveillance video supports this, but another passenger who had Tom Jr. claims she was in the car when he got the call from police. She claims he was uncomfortable and spooked after this call.
Tom Jr’s apartment and cab was then searched, but there is nothing to tie him to the disappearance. However, he refused to cooperate with police or take a polygraph test.
July 21st, 2013
There was a rainstorm and flash floods in the area, which washed up a lot of debris. Several days later, on August 6th, a resident found a body, which turned out to be Adrienne’s.
Rick recalled telling his family, while her friends wondered how she got 30 miles away without her car. They know someone had to have taken her to where she was found.
The cause of death was undetermined, but authorities could tell it was a homicide. Sadly, the case goes cold due to lack of evidence.
A Surprising Discovery
Two years later, a man calling himself K called police and claimed his friend Brian Miller, aka the Zombie Hunter, was responsible for Adrienne’s death.
K’s name is Keen Azirah, and he claimed to have met Brian at a steampunk convention. He said Brian was really into the Zombie Hunter persona and was an overall quiet guy.
Brian’s Secret Life
Brian was arrested on January 13th, 2015 for the 1992 murders of Angela Brasso and Melanie Bernas. Their murders were unsolved until a genealogy test connected Brian to the murders.
Keen was shocked over this and wondered if his former friend might actually be connected to Adrienne’s murder.
He did some digging and found out that Brian was in the same area as Adrienne the night she went missing. Armed with this information, he went to the police.
Investigators search Brian’s house, which looks like the textbook hoarder kind of house. They come up empty.
Another Case, Another Connection?
Brian is questioned for the 1992 murders, but denied involvement, despite his DNA being on the bodies. He was not questioned about Adrienne, but remained a person of interest. He was also suspected in the disappearance of a young girl named Brandy Myers.
Brandy’s sister Kristin remembered her collecting money for a bookathon on May 26th, 1992, which is the day she went missing. She was never found. Kristin knows Brandy was at Brian’s house and believes he is responsible for her death.
Brian’s ex-wife claimed that Brian killed Brandy and disposed of her body in a disturbing, horrific way. Brian denied any involvement.
Brian is awaiting trial for the 1992 killings.
At this point, everyone is still a suspect in Adrienne’s murder.
Brandy’s case is still open.