TRUCKEE, Calif. — Officials made the grim announcement on Monday that the body discovered in a California reservoir by volunteer divers appears to be missing teen Kiely Rodni, who disappeared after a nearby party on August 5.
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said that the body is “more than likely” 16-year-old Rodni after a YouTube diver team on Sunday night said they discovered Rodni’s remains inside her Honda CRV submerged in the Prosser Creek Reservoir.
“We recovered the vehicle last night, we have located a decedent inside the vehicle, we believe it is our missing person, we have not been able to positively identify, but it’s more than likely,” said Shannan Moon, Sheriff for Nevada County.
“At this time, our commitment is to this family. It’s still a very active investigation.”
Adventures With Purpose (AWP) — the dive crew recruited by law enforcement to assist the search — found the 2013 Honda CRV that Rodni drove to a graduation party near the lake Sunday afternoon.
AWP divers said the license plate of the vehicle matched Rodni’s and that there was a body inside.
The car and body were found about 20 to 40 feet from the water’s edge near a section of Prosser Family Campground where the party was held. The area is known to locals as “The Sanctuary” and overlooks the Prosser Creek Reservoir.
Rodni was last seen at the park in Truckee, California, on Aug. 5 and had told her mom she would be leaving the party around 12:30 a.m. on Aug 6. Fellow partygoers had reported that she had been drinking at the party.
Before Sunday’s discovery, authorities conducted an exhaustive and two-week-long search of the area via land, air, and water.
At least three police dive teams had already searched the reservoir, but AWP said it used advanced sonar which detected the car upside down in about 14 feet of water.
“Police told us they did a rigorous search of this body of water,” said diver Josh Cantu, 31. “They gave us a grid map and made us confident we didn’t need to search here.”
After searching the rest of the remote town of Truckee, the private group of divers decided to look in the reservoir as a last-ditch effort. Within a few minutes of diving, team member Nick Rinn found a body in a car close to shore.
“I went down and did my inspection. I saw the vehicle upside down, verified the license plate and that there were remains in the vehicle,” Rinn, 48, told The Post Sunday. “Then I came out, we called the family and authorities and let them take it from there.”
The water levels in the reservoir had been higher two weeks ago during previous police searches, Rinn added.