‘We’re not giving up’: Search for missing teen intensifies

Missing

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (NewsNation) — The urgent search for a missing California teen has intensified. Kiely Rodni, 16, vanished nearly one week ago.

Rodni was last spotted at a huge “senior send-off” party at a campground Friday night in northern California. She had recently graduated from a local charter high school.

Now, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and nearly a dozen other law enforcement agencies have been searching the Tahoe National Forest. So far, there has been no sign of the teen or her 2013 silver Honda CRV.

Kiely Rodni’s missing car. (Credit: www.findkiely.com)

The mother of Kiely Rodni says they are not giving up in their search.

While appearing Thursday on “NewsNation Prime,” Lindsey Rodni-Nieman reflected on the last text message she received from her daughter.

“It was 11:30 at night and she said that she was going to be planning on leaving about 12:15 and coming home and I told her to be careful and wake me up when she got home and she said, ‘OK, Mom. I love you.’”

Rodni-Nieman said she has no reason to doubt that Kiely sent the text message and that it’s a message she had received over and over again.

“She was always checking. She was always letting me know where she was, when she was leaving, where she was going next,” she said.

Rodni-Nieman said she woke up at around 8 a.m. Saturday and realized her daughter had not woken her up when she got home.

“I got up and looked at the driveway and her car wasn’t there. I looked at her room and she wasn’t there. I grabbed my phone and I looked for her location that she always shared with me and the last update it had was from the party site at about midnight,” she said.

From there, Rodni-Nieman reached out to Kiely’s good friend to see if she was there. Once she found out she was not there, panic set in.

Investigators have extensively searched the area, but say so far, there’s no evidence she was abducted. They say 500 tips have come in so far.

Helicopters search for Kiely Rodni from above. (Credit: Placer County Sheriff’s Office)

As for Rodni-Nieman, she could not be more thankful for how open they have been with her family throughout this process.

“They have been so transparent with us. They’ve been so open … Unfortunately, none of the tips yet have led to anything definitive in helping us,” Rodni-Nieman said.

The concerned mother is placing her trust in authorities and leaving the investigative work to police and those trained in finding missing children.

“We’re not ruling anything out and that’s why we’re pulling out all the stops,” said Sgt. Scott Alford, with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. “We have the same concerns as the family and the community, so we won’t rule any possibility out.”

Rodni-Nieman described her daughter as a special and dynamic woman who loves playing music, science, baking and dancing.

“There doesn’t seem to be anybody ever who I come across who doesn’t just love her,” her mother said. “She was so smart. She’s so funny. She’s great with little kids. I could go on and on about everything.”

If she could send a message to Kiely tonight, Rodni-Nieman said she would tell her this: “I love her so, so much. We’re all looking, and we’re all trying so, so hard. I’m so sorry we haven’t found you yet. We’re not giving up. Just hang in there, sweetie.”

Kiely Rodni, 16. was last seen Saturday. (Credit: www.findkiely.com)

An estimated 200 teenagers and young adults were at the senior “last bash” Friday north of Lake Tahoe near the Prosser Family Campground. Kiely’s mother also has a message for anyone who happened to be at that party who may be afraid to come forward out of fear of getting in trouble for what they were doing that night.

“Nobody cares about what you were doing there. Nobody, I promise. All that we care about is bringing Kiely back. All that we care about is getting any kind of little bit of information that can help us move forward in our search to find her. We promise you that you won’t get in any trouble,” Rodni-Nieman said.

She said it’s a hard thing to be courageous and come forward, but she encourages anyone with information to do just that.

Anyone with information about Rodni’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375. Authorities have issued a $50,000 reward for information.

Rodni is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 115 pounds, with blond hair and hazel eyes. She has a nose ring and a tattoo of the number “17” on her ribs. She was last seen wearing green pants and a black tank top.

The family created a website that includes additional information about Rodni’s description and disappearance.

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