An autopsy has confirmed that the body found in the back of an SUV submerged in a Northern California reservoir is that of 16-year-old Kiely Rodni, who went missing weeks ago after attending a party at a nearby campground, authorities said Tuesday.
The investigation into Rodni’s death is ongoing by Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, who are in touch with teen’s family.
The Nevada County Sheriff-Coroner officially confirmed the identity of the remains two days after volunteer divers with Adventures with Purpose announced on Sunday that they had found Rodni inside the SUV, which they said came to rest upside down under about 14 feet of water in Prosser Reservoir.
A body found in the back of an SUV submerged in a Northern California reservoir has been confirmed to be that of 16-year-old Kiely Rodni, who went missing weeks ago after attending a party at a nearby campground, authorities said Tuesday
Divers confirmed that they found Rodni’s car, a silver 2013 Honda CRV, in Prosser Lake. They identified the car by the license plate number – 8YUR127
Rodni’s family released a statement on Monday following news that Rodni had believed to have been found.
‘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,’ the Rodni-Nieman family wrote in the statement. ‘Kiely will surely remain with us even though we will not get her back.’
Her cell phone last pinged around 12:30am near the campground’s reservoir after she texted her mother to say she was heading back to Truckee, just 12 miles from the party.
Authorities had confirmed on Monday that the car had been found 55ft from the shore, submerged in 14ft of water in the same area that police had previously scoured.
Authorities, including the FBI, say that they scanned through nearly 2,000 tips in the two-week hunt for Rodni, and spent almost 20,000 hours looking for her.
Adventures with Purpose search members Doug Bishop and Nick Rinn briefly described the search in a Facebook livestream Monday morning. Rinn said they were limited in the scope of details they could release.
The Oregon-based group says it has solved more than 20 missing persons cases using sonar and search-and-rescue techniques for its dive team.
Bishop said they put two sonar boats in the water at 10:40 a.m. and by 11:15 a.m. Rinn detected an object with sonar technology. Bishop said he was able to confirm it was a vehicle. Rinn put on his gear and conducted the dive to examine the car.
‘Once we confirmed it was indeed Kiely´s vehicle we immediately notified family, law enforcement and (the teen’s) dad and grandpa were on scene within minutes,’ Bishop said.
Rodni was last seen alive August 6 near the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee, attending a party with hundreds of young people, authorities have said. The campground is at the reservoir in the Sierra Nevada, about 165 miles northeast of San Francisco.
Rodni was last seen on August 6, leaving a party she had attended with other high school graduates near Lake Tahoe, and heading home to Truckee just 12 miles away
This map shows the area (in green) cops canvassed as they searched for Kiely Rodni’s SUV. The yellow area shows the shore line. The area is about 2,000-feet from the campground where she was attending a party. Rodni’s car was found on Sunday, to the right of the original search area
Initially Rodni’s disappearance was being treated as a possible abduction, something which Placer County Sheriff’s department denied in a press conference.
Officers said that by not ruling out abduction as a possible reason for her vanishing, may have helped get more assistance from various agencies.
Capt. Brown added: ‘I think there was a lot of miscommunication, I don’t think it was ever labelled as abduction, but you can’t ever take that off the table.
‘You couldn’t remove it off the table, we hadn’t found her. There was some struggle with some services, we wanted to obtain things and couldn’t.
‘We couldn’t say that it wasn’t, and it was clarified very early on but we wouldn’t have received all the resources we did if that wasn’t the case.’