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Kiely Rodni case: Authorities investigating whether body in lake near Truckee is that of missing teen

San Francisco Chronicle 8/21/2022 By Trisha Thadani

UPDATE: ‘We believe it is our missing person’: Search for Kiely Rodni comes to an end.

Authorities are investigating whether a body found in a car submerged in a lake near Truckee is that of Kiely Rodni, the 16-year-old area girl missing for about two weeks.

A dive team, Adventures With Purpose, said Sunday that it found what it believed to be Kiely’s body in an upside-down car in 14 feet of water in Prosser Reservoir, about 5 miles north of Truckee.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said in Facebook posts Sunday night that they were at the scene to investigate. The FBI and other agencies also responded.

“The identity of the decedent has not been confirmed. This is a developing situation and we will provide updates when we can,” the sheriff’s offices said. A press conference was set for 11 a.m. Monday.

The teen was last seen Aug. 5 at a party with hundreds of other teenagers near Prosser Reservoir, prompting a huge search with scores of law enforcement officers, helicopter teams and dozens of volunteers.

The party, which was at the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee and was promoted on social media, drew as many as 250 people. Some partygoers came from as far away as the Bay Area, according to organizers.

Authorities initially said they were treating the case as a potential abduction, though they had no evidence of that.

The teen’s mother, Lindsey Rodni-Nieman, previously told The Chronicle that she heard from her daughter at about 11:30 that night when Kiely texted to say she’d be home a little late.

Rodni-Nieman said her daughter always shared her location through a GPS app on her phone, and the last ping was at midnight from the campground. The teen’s silver 2013 Honda CRV, which she had driven to the gathering, was also reported missing.

Several law enforcement agencies assisted Placer County with the search, including the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, Truckee Police, Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Adventures With Purpose, which has nearly 3 million subscribers on YouTube and specializes in underwater searches, said it joined the search for Kiely on Friday. According to its website, the Bend, Ore., group has solved 23 missing person cold cases since 2019. The group says it funds its work through donations, merchandise sales, and ads on its YouTube channel.

Doug Bishop, the lead diver with Adventures With Purpose, said in a YouTube video that the Rodni case was different from those that the group usually engages in. The divers usually focus on “cold cases where resources are no longer administered,” he said.

Bishop said the group was requested to help with the case, but could not disclose which agencies it would be assisting “for security purposes.”

In an email to The Chronicle, the group said it would do a live stream Monday morning to provide more information on the search.

Trisha Thadani (she/her) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @TrishaThadani

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