Law enforcement confirms Kiely Rodni found in Prosser Creek Reservoir
TRUCKEE, Calif. — The body found Sunday afternoon in Prosser Creek Reservoir has been confirmed to be the remains of missing 16-year-old Kiely Rodni.
Law enforcement officials from Placer and Nevada County Sheriff’s office on Tuesday announced an autopsy that was conducted identified the decedent as Rodni.
“The Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office are in communication with Kiely’s family and offer our deepest condolences to them during this extremely difficult time,” said both office’s in a joint statement. “This is an ongoing investigation, and no other information is available at this time.”
On Sunday afternoon, diving nonprofit Adventures With Purpose reported they’d found the remains of missing 16-year-old Kiely Rodni, following her disappearance from the Prosser Family Campground at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.
Roughly 200 to 300 teenagers and young adults from the region and as far away as the Bay Area reportedly attended a party in the area that night.
In total, law enforcement agencies from the local, state, and federal levels spent nearly 20,000 man-hours searching for Rodni. Ultimately, she was found, according to officials, a relatively short distance away from the party she attended that night.
“The lake was extensively searched with side sonar, with an ROV, we had divers, we had swimmers,” said Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown during Monday’s press conference. “I think that’s part of what we’re going to have to go back to do and debrief. When peace officers are out in the field and volunteers and searchers, it doesn’t mean they’re experts in the field. These are sometimes ancillary duties or calling from other agencies to try to jump in, and tracking underwater is an extremely difficult thing to do.”
Joshua Ehlers of California Highway Patrol said the department is conducting a fatality traffic collision investigation, and that, as of now, no foul play is suspected.
“This is a very popular area,” said Ehlers. “There’s a lot of foot traffic, a lot of vehicular traffic on and off road.”
The vehicle was reportedly found upside down in about 14 feet of water. Brown said it’s believed the vehicle has been in the reservoir since Rodni’s disappearance.
Investigators said it is too early to determine if the person in the vehicle attempted to escape. Toxicology results should be available in four to six weeks, according to Placer County Sheriff’s Office Captain Troy Minton-Sander.
Rodni was a recent graduate from Forest Charter High School in Truckee, and had planned on attending the University of California Santa Cruz.
“While we accept this sadness cast under death’s shadow, the rising sun shines light upon us, reminding us not to mourn our loss, but to celebrate Kiely’s spirit and the gift that we all received in knowing her. Kiely will surely remain with us even though we will not get her back,” said the Rodni-Nieman family in a statement.
“There are certain occasions when words fail,” the statement continued. “Perhaps this is why our human nature has given us art, dance, and music, which all are often more effective ways to connect us to each other and our rawest emotions. Kindly excuse us as we retreat and dance privately to life’s song while we celebrate our daughter’s spirit and heal our souls.”
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of the Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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