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August 22, 2022
UPDATE: Volunteer diving team, Adventures with Purpose (AWP), announced they found Kiely Rodni’s car fourteen feet below the surface of Prosser Lake, upside down, with her body inside. Law enforcement have yet to officially confirm these findings at the time of writing.
AWP were reportedly asked by authorities to join the search and located Kiely’s vehicle using sonar technology. According to the diving team spokesperson, Josh Cantu, police handed the team a grid map of the areas they had already searched, which in included the area in which AWP found the submerged vehicle.
Kiely’s disappearance and how it unfolded:
The search for Kiely Roni officially began August 7, and so far over 9000 hours have been put into the large scale search- a combined effort of hours logged from hundreds of searchers.
In a public statement, The Placer County Sheriff's Office officials said:
“The ping for the datapoints and everything were near the water, it's hard to tell an exact pinpoint or anything like that, but, just as much in land as it was in water. The area has been walked, driven, flown, grid searched, they're getting into tighter grid searching...You know, at this point we're looking for small, or anything, evidence-wise, as opposed to cars, people, things, even phones, we're trying to make things even tighter. We had swimmers announced the other day that actually did surface swimming, because we didn't even want to disturb the water underneath because that can cause its own problems and divers have been deployed at this point as well to assist in the search and it's been pretty thorough overall. We continue to look for that item (the phone) just because it was last pinged there doesn't mean that's where the phone stopped being- there's lots of reasons why those notifications or datapoints could be lost.”
Lake Prosser is just shy of sixty feet deep and has low visibility, causing issues for the team searching it.
On August 5, the day Kiely went missing, surveillance footage from a local Truckee store near Lake Tahoe showed the sixteen-year-old inside the store around six hours before she went missing. The footage was recovered on August 14, and showed Kiely wearing a black spaghetti strap tank top and green Dickies trousers.
Although not shown on the footage, she was said to be wearing a white and pink Odd Future hooded sweatshirt. She was not wearing the sweatshirt in the footage, so police are unsure if she was wearing it when she went missing.
Some reports state that she was also loaned a black Lana Del Ray hooded sweatshirt that read: "You don't want to be forgotten you just want to disappear" on the front in a white handwritten font.
The teen then proceeded to the party, which according to attendees quickly grew to around 300 people in a short amount of time, despite the fact that it was supposed to be a much smaller gathering. She texted her mother at around 11:30pm saying that she would be home in 45 minutes- but Kiely would never be seen alive again.
Rodni’s 2013 Honda CRV, license plate 8YUR127, went missing along with the sixteen-year-old, and the teenager’s cell phone last pinged near a lake in a clearing in the woods close to the scene of the party at around 12.33am. After the final ping, it is thought to have powered off.
Kiely’s ex-boyfriend, Jagger Westfall, said that his last communication with Kiely was at 10:30pm on the night she went missing. The pair exchanged text messages, where Westfall detailed that he'd had a bad day and Kiely had sympathised with him. In an ominous last message to the missing teenage girl, Westfall had said: "OK. Be safe. Don't like, do anything stupid."
Investigators have yet to find anyone who saw Kiley leaving the party that night, and it has been suggested that underage partygoers may be hesitant to come forward due to their involvement in illegal activity including drugs and underage drinking. Less than half the number of attendees have been interviewed.
Sami Smith, a friend of Rodni, told Fox news that Rodni was drunk that night and she didn't think the missing teen would have driven home in the state she was in.
Smith said she was supposed to ride home with Rodni, however, found another ride, assuming that Rodni was going to sleep over or camp at the party, "Everybody was camping, it was late enough that she should have stayed. She's not the type to go and drunk drive or anything," Smith added.
Smith left shortly before the last sighting of Rodni and claims she spoke to Rodni in a phone call around midnight when Rodni called her asking where she was. According to Smith, she assured Rodni that she had found another ride home and told her she loved her before hanging up.
When asked how Rodni had been behaving on the night she went missing, Smith said she was her normal happy self, greeting everybody. She admitted they had talked with strangers that night and may have been a bit too trustworthy of new people.
On august 15, the Sheriff’s office announced that they would be scaling back the search, however, would still continue to look for the missing girl.
Placer County Sheriff’s Lt. Josh Barnhart has said of the footage found so far: “There was a lot of video at the party. We’ve done a really good job of trying to collect that as much as possible. That obviously is taking time to review, hours and hours of time to review, but we’re trying to narrow down the scope, and if Kiely was seen in any of those videos, we are following up on it.”
On August 21, 2022, a volunteer diving team, Adventures with Purpose, announced on their social media profile that they found Kiely’s car, upside down, with her body inside, fourteen feet below the surface of Prosser Lake. The group stated that they found the missing teenagers Honda CRV with corresponding license plate and the body of a young woman they believe to be Kiely inside and informed both law enforcement and the decedent’s family.
The groups website reads:
“LET'S BRING THEM HOME. We are Adventures With Purpose (AWP) - a Search & Recovery Dive Team dedicated to helping families of missing loved ones. Because of your amazing support: 23 Missing Person Cold Cases Have Been Solved since 2019, providing answers to families looking for their lost loved one. Your support, through watching our documentaries, making purchases and donations, make it possible for us to provide this FREE Service to Families.”
At the time of writing, law enforcement has yet to officially confirm the groups findings but will be speaking in a press conference.
Another update in the story includes a California sex offender who has been arrested this week during the search for missing teenager. The arrest came as part of an investigative sweep of registered sex offenders in the general radius of Lake Tahoe. While performing compliance checks, investigators discovered several registered offenders in violation of their terms.
To contact authorities regarding this case: (530) 581-6320, option 7 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
January 17, 2023