Kiely Rodni presumably found after two-week search
Click the arrow below for more coverage on Kiely Rodni, a Northern California teen who was presumably found by a volunteer team of divers after she had been missing since early August
Law enforcement officials announced Monday that while they have not yet not officially confirmed the identity, the body found inside a vehicle underwater at a California reservoir is “more than likely” that of Kiely Rodni, the 16-year-old from Truckee who went missing after a party earlier this month.
A volunteer dive team known as Adventures with Purpose located Kiely’s vehicle, a Honda CR-V, upside down in about 14 feet of water at Prosser Creek Reservoir on Sunday. It was found near Prosser Family Campground, the site of a party with about 200 to 300 young people at which Kiely was last seen alive.
A body was found inside the vehicle, which was recovered and brought to shore Sunday night. “We believe it is our missing person … it’s more than likely,” Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon said at a Monday morning news conference.
Here is what else we know so far about the finding, which followed a vast search campaign that lasted more than two weeks and spanned numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
When did Kiely Rodni go missing?
Kiely was last seen around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, following a party at the campground the preceding night, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office announced later that day.
The teen went missing along with her vehicle, and her phone was out of service shortly after she was last seen. Sheriff’s officials said her phone last sent a signal at 12:33 a.m.
Authorities also uncovered and shared surveillance footage from a Truckee convenience store showing Kiely a few hours before the party.
Body found quickly at reservoir near teen’s disappearance
Adventures with Purpose deployed two sonar boats Sunday morning into Prosser Creek Reservoir, divers with the organization said in a live-streamed video Monday, two hours before the briefing by law enforcement.
Those boats went out around 10:40 a.m. and pinged Kiely’s silver Honda CR-V about 35 minutes later. The vehicle was about 55 feet offshore and roughly 14 feet deep, less than a quarter-mile south of the campground.
Prosser Family Campground is located in a peninsula on the reservoir. Both the recreation area and reservoir, roughly 10 miles north of Truckee, are on federal land within Tahoe National Forest.
Adventures with Purpose started its search in the region on Saturday. Authorities at the law enforcement news conference confirmed that the volunteer divers also searched other large bodies of water in the area, such as Boca Reservoir.
Brief video clips posted by Adventures with Purpose of the vehicle’s discovery showed the same license plate number released by law enforcement.
An autopsy is pending. Do authorities suspect foul play?
Authorities on Monday said an autopsy of the body will be performed Tuesday, along with a toxicology report.
It could take up to eight weeks for results, including a cause of death, to be finalized, officials said.
When asked at Monday’s news conference whether there were any signs of foul play in the death, Capt. Sam Brown of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said authorities could not comment on that possibility at this time.
But Brown also said he had “no reason to believe” the vehicle had been anywhere else but the water since Kiely’s disappearance.
Officials said the FBI is currently evaluating the vehicle and assisting in that phase of the investigation.
What is Adventures with Purpose?
A volunteer dive team that uses specialized equipment, Adventures with Purpose is an “underwater sonar search and recovery dive team helping families locate missing loved ones underwater,” according to its website.
The Oregon-based group has a popular YouTube page with more than 2.4 million subscribers and large followings on other social media platforms.
Its YouTube playlists include a variety of videos centered on missing persons and solved cases, underwater treasure hunting, and finding missing boats, stolen cars and firearms.
Thousands of hours of search time
Brown, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office captain, in a news briefing last week said personnel had combined for more than 9,000 total hours in the search effort, which he labeled an “astronomical” figure.
By the Placer County Sheriff’s Office’s last update on Sunday morning, that total had grown to nearly 20,000 hours.
Local law enforcement officials reviewed close to 1,900 tips received from community members. Over the course of the 16-day search, seven different aircraft were deployed to look for Kiely and her vehicle, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said.
Many volunteers in the community also joined the search.
What agencies have been involved in the investigation?
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada County Sheriff’s Office headed a task force charged with search efforts for Kiely.
The California Highway Patrol, FBI, Truckee Police Department and the sheriff’s offices of Douglas and Washoe counties in Nevada also provided assistance at various points. The CHP and FBI continue to aid in the investigation.
Sheriff’s officials said the later agency would help to forensically assess the vehicle recovered from the reservoir to investigate the circumstances.
The investigation remains active, said Moon, the Nevada County sheriff, on Monday.
The Bee’s Vivienne Aguilar and Rosalio Ahumada contributed to this story.
This story was originally published August 22, 2022 1:17 PM.