Kiely Rodni: Truckee police to scale back search for missing teen after 11 days

Investigators are scaling back the search for missing teenager Kiely Rodni as 11 days have passed since she was last seen at a campground party in Truckee, California – and there is still no sign of the 16-year-old or her missing car.

Captain Sam Brown of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press conference on Monday that the search is now moving into a “limited” phase.

“We are moving into a more limited but continuous search and rescue effort, we’ve pulled in a tonne of resources towards that goal and to date we’ve had over 9,000 man hours into searching, which is pretty astronomical,” he said.

“Our biggest problem is where do we go and how do we keep sustaining this. We do have some plans that have continued… but we are going to have to switch modes and kind of focus on the investigative end and try to figure out where we do we go from there?”

Captain Brown said he still wants “all eyes and ears” out looking for Kiely and suggested that hunters should be on the lookout for signs of the missing teen as hunting season gets under way soon.

“We still want all eyes and ears out there. We are coming into hunting season. We’re hoping to have eyes out all over the place and we’re going to continue to put an effort in as a unified command,” he said.

“Obviously our search for Kiely continues and and we’ll try to do the best we can to keep things moving in a positive way and attempt to find some clues and an idea of where we need to get to.”

Over 200 law enforcement personnel were still on the case as of Monday with search and rescue teams continuing to comb the area by air and land.

Search efforts by water appeared to have been scaled back with no dive teams that day – despite officials revealing that Kiely’s phone last pinged close to a vast lake around the campground.

The 16-year-old was last seen between 12.30am and 1am on Saturday 6 August at a party of 200 to 300 teenagers and young adults at the Prosser Family Campground.

On Sunday, officials revealed that the last known location from Kiely’s cellphone was at around 12.30am close to Prosser Lake – the constructed reservoir that goes around the campground.

Captain Brown said that it is difficult to get an “exact pinpoint” for the cellphone location data and that it is also possible that the cellphone did continue to ping after that time.

“The ping for the data points was near the water. It’s hard to tell an exact pinpoint,” he said.

“Just because it was last pinged there, that doesn’t mean that’s where the phone stopped pinging. There’s lots of reasons why those notifications or data points could be lost.”

Divers searched the lake for any signs of the missing 16-year-old but found nothing.

However, the search is complicated by the water’s depth of up to 57 feet and poor visibility, admitted Captain Brown.

“A diving operation like that is almost like you’re going into the water blind, and you’re basically searching with hands,” he said.

“Because once you start maneuvering the ground, it’s like going through mud. These are tough operations.”

The teenager’s mother Lindsey Rodni-Nieman told The Independent last week that her daughter sent her a final text message at 11.30pm saying that she would be leaving the party in around 45 minutes. The drive home takes around 25-30 minutes.

“She said she’d be leaving at 12.15 and was going to start heading home,” said Ms Rodni-Nieman.

That was the last time she heard from her daughter. She woke the next morning and realised that Kiely had never returned home.

Ms Rodni-Nieman said it would be odd for her daughter to let her phone go dead, adding that she always keeps a charger in her car.

Kiely’s friend Samantha Smith told The Independent that she last spoke to Kiely on the phone at around 12.30am. She had been planning to get a ride home from the party with Kiely but there was a change in plans because she said Kiely had been drinking and so was not in a position to drive.

Instead, the two friends told each other “love you, good night, get home safe,” she said.

Despite more than 1,100 tips sent in by the public, investigators have still been unable to piece together any of Kiely’s movements after around 12.30am that day.

One theory being explored is that she has been abducted, as her car – a silver 2013 Honda CRV – is also missing.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-581-6320, and choose option 7. Tips can also be emailed to [email protected] and files, including images, can be uploaded to the Placer Sheriff’s Office here.