According to Rio’s uncle, Chad Boyd, the realization that Rio did not return home was “unsettling.” He claimed that the 21-year-old always alerted her parents whenever she was going to be gone for a certain amount of time.
Rio’s cell phone was ultimately found near Mountain Highway and Field Road, just one block away from her home in Spanaway. The device was reportedly behind a concrete road barrier and had minor scratches– as if it had been thrown or dropped.
Nothing on the phone indicated Rio’s whereabouts, though, and her father, Brian, called the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the device “disturbing.”
The Pierce County Police Department has been investigating the case ever since, urging all residents of the area to check their surveillance cameras for clues.
Rio’s friend, Laura, detailed how nothing appeared wrong in the days leading up to the 21-year-old’s disappearance. She and Rio reportedly always kept in touch, and the last time they spoke was over Snapchat.
“The last conversation we had was her sending me a picture from when we were little kids on a field trip, and we talked about some old memories. Nothing seemed off to me,” Laura said.
Due to this, she admitted to thinking that foul play was involved in Rio’s disappearance.
“It seems to me that she was abducted by someone and is possibly being trafficked because there is absolutely no trace of her. Abductions and trafficking are very common in the area she went missing.”
And despite some people speculating that the 21-year-old left by her own will, Laura claimed she really does not believe that.
“She would never not tell at least someone about her whereabouts, and she wouldn’t leave her phone. Her wallet with her ID was left at home as well, and she left her dog, too. These are things she just wouldn’t do,” Laura explained.
According to Laura, investigators have been “quiet” about their efforts. She also revealed how Rio was not caught on any CCTV footage that was reviewed by authorities, and there is now a private investigator working on the case as well.