Kiely Rodni case: Urgent search for missing teen continues

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PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (NewsNation) — It’s Day Six of a massive land, air and water search in northern California for a 16-year-old girl who was last seen at a huge “senior send-off” party at a campground Friday night.

Police are searching for Kiely Rodni and her 2013 silver Honda CRV. At just 16, she had recently graduated from a local charter high school and was gathering with friends to celebrate.

Rodni’s friends say it was a senior “last bash” that got much bigger than expected with well over 200 teenagers and young adults drinking in the woods. They say it started to take on a “sketchy vibe,” so many of them left.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is trying to establish a timeline of Rodni’s last movements and asking anyone who was at the party to come forward with any photos or video to help.

Law enforcement are searching the Tahoe National Forest. So far, there has been no sign of the teen’s car. Investigators released images of a sweatshirt she borrowed the night of the party with an eerie caption reading: “You don’t want to be forgotten. You just want to disappear.”

Kiely Rodni’s missing car. (Credit:

“She sent me a text at 11:30 saying she was going to be leaving around 12:15 and coming home and she said ‘OK, mom, I love you.’ And that was the last (message),” mother Lindsey Rodni-Nieman said.

16-year old Kiely Rodni was last seen at a giant senior going-away party near Prosser Family Campground, north of Lake Tahoe, Friday night.

A friend showed NewsNation the area where an estimated 200-300 young partygoers gathered.

“There were cars up in here and all back in there,” friend Sami Smith said.

“A lot of older people started showing up that people didn’t know,” friend Mags Larson added. “A lot of drugs were involved, like drugs that we don’t typically have just in parties, and our parties also just aren’t normally that big.”

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

Rodni was last seen around 12:30 in the morning and she seemingly disappeared without a trace.

“I went up to her and she was supposed to be my ride home, but she was too intoxicated, so I told her I had another ride and said ‘love you, text you tomorrow,'” Smith said. “I think it’s totally possible that somebody could have taken her and maybe offered to drive her home.”

Rodni’s boyfriend said he is optimistic about the search and shared what he told her before she went to the party Friday night with her friends.

“So I was just like, ‘OK, be safe, don’t like do anything stupid.’”

Now he is among the many others putting up flyers and not losing hope in the massive search.

Rodni’s mother just wants her home safely.

“If you have her, please give my baby back,” Rodni-Nieman said.

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 and more than a dozen law enforcement agencies have joined the search.

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

Rodni’s friends have discounted the possibility that she tried to drive home on the dark campground roads and accidentally went into the lake.

“They searched into the forest, they searched into the water. They’ve searched in every single place, and there’s no tire tracks or anything from what I know,” Smith said.

Police have issued a $50,000 reward for information and are asking anyone with photos or video of the party to come forward.

Kiely Rodni, 16. was last seen Saturday. (Credit:

“We do want to stress that we have absolutely no interest in prosecuting or arresting anybody who showed up to that party Friday evening. Whether it be for underage drinking or any type of drug use. We’re just interested in finding Kiely. Finding Kiely is our top priority right now,” Angela Musallam with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said.

Friends are still holding out hope for a happy ending.

“She’s just a beautiful soul. You know, she’s so sweet and so vibrant,” Larson said.

Investigators say the last cellular data from Rodni’s cellphone was at 12:33 a.m., shortly after her friends last saw her.

The Sheriff’s Department is speaking about ways to further the search. Another community meeting is set for Thursday night, but many people remain baffled as to why there have been no signs or clues at all.

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.

Anyone with information about Rodni’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.

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