Kiely Rodni: Reward money increases to $75,000

Kiely Rodni, left, in a security camera image taken hours before she was last seen and with a...
Kiely Rodni, left, in a security camera image taken hours before she was last seen and with a photo showing the necklaces she wore.(Placer County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 6:26 PM PDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2022 at 4:37 PM PDT
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TRUCKEE, Calif. (KOLO) - AUG. 15 UPDATE: Over the weekend, an anonymous donor gifted the family $25,000 dollars. This raises the reward to $75,000 for any information leading to the return of the 16-year-old.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, the Placer County Sheriff said the search will move forward differently in the future. They will be rolling back the number of people on the ground and turn their focus to the investigation.

But Kiely’s family and friends say they are not discouraged.

“The hope has not wavered. She’s coming home right, any minute, the miracle is any minute,” said Cassie Hebel, a friend of the family.

AUG. 13 EVENING UPDATE: The Placer County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday it had had 226 people out on search and rescue efforts looking for Kiely Rodni, who has been missing for a week.

That included land, air and water searches, including divers in Prosser Lake.

A searcher found a burial site Friday near the Prosser campground where Rodni was last seen. Crews evacuated the site, but it turned out to be the remains of a dog.

The sheriff’s office again urged people to pass along any tips to 530-581-6320 or email sheriff_tahoeinvesttips@placer.ca.gov.

“If we have that one tip that leads us in the right direction, that can change everything,” Placer County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Josh Barnhart said.

AUG. 13 MORNING UPDATE: Leads continue to be scarce as the search for Kiely Rodni closes in on one week.

California and Nevada authorities ramped up efforts to locate the 16-year-old and her vehicle.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said they will be getting more searchers over the weekend and with more eyes out there, they will be expanding their search around the general area of Prosser Family Campground.

As of Friday, agencies have received 900 tips but there’s still no sign of Rodni or her 2013 Silver Honda CRV.

During a community meeting, police said they have also received reports of several adults telling teens who attended the party--where she was last seen--not to speak.

“What if this was your daughter? What if it was your sister? Your cousin? Your best friend? Would you want that weighing on your conscience for the rest of your life?” said Angela Musallam, public information officer at PCSO. “We have absolutely no interest in arresting anyone or holding anyone accountable for any illegal underage drinking and drug activity that we know occurred.”

At the meeting sheriff’s officials addressed the false audio clip from the police scanner reporting to have possibly located Rodni and her car Thursday. They explained the false lead took 45 minutes to an hour of detectives’ time.

Therefore, they ask the community to be considerate of the family and only repost information coming from their official social media pages.

“It is hard for them to hear these things and there is actually a family team here protecting and working with Lindsey and Dan and Tony and the grandparents, and really working hard to protect them from these types of incidences,” said family friend,Cassie Hebel.

According to Capt. Sam Brown of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, a portion of detectives were moved to the case of two people in California who went missing after traveling to Hot August Nights.

However, efforts are not stopping.

Saturday, Aug 13 the community is hosting an event called Kountry for Kiely, which will include music and a fundraiser for rodni’s family.

This is taking place at the Truckee Regional Park from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

PCSO has created a central location for the community to upload tips, including photos and videos, anonymously.

To access it, click here.

Authorities described Kiely Rodni, 16, as white, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 115 pounds with blond...
Authorities described Kiely Rodni, 16, as white, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 115 pounds with blond hair and hazel eyes. Her 2013 Honda CRV is also missing.(Placer County Sheriff's Office)

AUG. 12 UPDATE: The search for Kiely Rodni is not slowing down.

On Thursday a Code Red Alert System was activated for the 16-year-old, who was last seen at a party in Truckee.

“We have about an 80% enrollment for Nevada County so out of our 100,000 residents, that message should hit about 80,00 residents,” said Captain Sam Brown, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

During a media briefing, officials shared a photo of Rodni that’s now considered important for the investigation. In the picture, you can see her wearing three gold chains, which according to her family she never took off.

“While it’s not 100% confirmed that that’s what Kiely was wearing during when she disappeared,” said Angela Musallam, Public Information Officer at PCSO. “We do believe she may have been wearing these necklaces.”

Investigators ask anyone who locates these pieces to call the Nevada or Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

More details of her description, including that she has ear, nose, and belly-button piercings, were also shared Thursday.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) says they’ve gotten video from a fight that occurred during the party, but they do not believe it had any connection to Rodni.

“If you have video of that night, detectives want more of it,” said Lieutenant Josh Barnhart, PCSO.

After the briefing community members got another chance to ask questions, and once again the question about an Amber Alert was brought up.

Officials explained confirming there has been an abduction is part of the criteria, which this case has not met.

At one point, Rodni’s dad took the mic to thank the community for their support.

“Our daughters...We really need to take care of our people, our kids, they really need us” said Daniel Rodni. “I really want to thank everyone here.”

Sheriff’s officials are still trying to build a timeline past the time her phone was last on.

If you have any information call the tip line at (530) 581-6320 or email sheriff_tahoeinvesttips@placer.ca.gov.

More than a hundred volunteers continue to show up every day to help search for the teenager. If you would like to help out, go to the base camp between 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Truckee Community Recreation Center.

AUG. 11 UPDATE: Despite nearly 50 FBI agents, as well as numerous other law enforcement agents from state and local agencies working on the disappearance of Kiely Rodni, the investigation has made little progress.

During a media briefing Wednesday, investigators said they had no new leads, but suspect someone in the community knows more.

“Someone saw her but they’re not coming forward,” said Captain Sam Brown, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators also released a photo of a black sweatshirt they believe Rodni was given the night of the party and still had in her possession when she disappeared.

The sweatshirt has flowers on the back and on the front it says “you don’t want to be forgotten, you just want to disappear.” These are lyrics from a song by Lana Del Rey.

Sheriff’s officials said, that they have received a ton of info and videos from the party, gas stations, businesses and even ring cameras. Unfortunately, none of that has led to Rodni or her car.

“We want to be able to supply all the right answers, especially to the family. It’s hard to look somebody in the face and not have those answers,” said Brown.

After the briefing, the community got a chance to ask questions about the investigation and ways they can help.

One question raised was about the decision not to issue an Amber Alert. Investigators explained it is not up to them but said be-on-the-lookout notifications have been sent.

The discussion prompted Rodni’s mom to take the mic and let everyone know the lack of clues is not due to a lack of effort.

“There is nobody standing behind me--referring to law enforcement officials--right now that doesn’t agree that the Amber Alter should have already been issued,” said Lindsey Nieman.

She later told KOLO 8 News Now that her daughter is a beautiful human with an interest in so many things, including music.

“She is so interested in science and in medicine and in cooking. She taught herself how to cook. She taught herself how to bake chocolate cakes from scratch when she was young and they’re good,” said Lindsey while smiling. “They’re light and fluffy, and I don’t even like chocolate cake but I like the cakes that she makes.”

Through the heartbreaking testimony, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office is asking everyone to stay positive and sending the message that no information is too small.

“Put yourself in their shoes and be courageous for them,” said Captain Troy Minton-Sander.

Search and rescue has made a map available, allowing volunteers to track where they have searched and what areas still need to be tackled.

This is available through the CALTOPO app, a special QR Code is needed and you can get that at the base camp set up in the parking lot of the Truckee Rec Center.

Aside from the tip line, an email address has been set up for those who would like to provide information but are uncomfortable calling.

The address is sheriff_tahoeinvesttips@placer.ca.gov.

There will be another teen-to-teen session on August 11 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Incline High School. These are conversations without adults or law enforcement present.

AUG. 10 UPDATE: Police have identified a hoodie loaned to Kiely on the day of her disappearance. Authorities continue to urge people to assist them in the search for Rodni.

They also say Rodni’s phones has been turned off since 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

In their press conference, they also thanked the community for their help. There is no official reward, but Rodni’s family have offered a reward of $50,000.

Investigators have shared a surveillance image showing missing teen Kiely Rodni before she disappeared.

The picture was captured at 6:08 p.m. on Friday from a business in Truckee. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said although this does not add anything new to their investigation it does confirm the timeline they already had and the clothes the 16-year-old was wearing.

AUG. 9 UPDATE: On Tuesday law enforcement from around Truckee and the FBI gave brief statements on the search for Rodni. She has now been missing for four days after she went to a senior farewell at Prosser Family Campground.

Officials shared multiple agencies are helping in this case and that as of now, there is no evidence indicating the teenager’s disappearance is an abduction.

“We’re not ruling anything out and that’s why we’re pulling out all the stops,” said Scott Alford, detective sergeant at PCSO. “If this was a hiker and they were known to be in an area that would be a search and rescue effort because were searching a very specific area, because we don’t know and we just have that timeline, we’re considering everything.”

He adds this case is being investigated as a missing person.

The FBI determined Rodni’s phone was last on at 12:33 a.m. Saturday.

At the press conference, Placer County increased the number of people present at the party to more than 200. Officials are asking anyone who was there to contact the tip line.

“Somebody knows something about Kiely, we are urging and pleading with the community to please come forward, you will remain anonymous,” said Angela Musallam, public information officer at PCSO.

While sheriff’s officials have received hundreds of tips, they have gotten little information from those attending the party. Alford recognizes some of those partygoers may be afraid to come forward since drugs and alcohol were consumed but says that’s not the focus of the investigation.

“We’re not investigating their conduct that night, okay?” said Alford. “If you want to report anonymously, if your heard information from a friend and that friend doesn’t want to come forward, please forward on behalf of your friend and tell us that information. So, were not investigating you, we are partnering with you.”

Tuesday afternoon Rodni’s friend Sammi Smith invited those who were at the party to a teen-to-teen talk without parents or law enforcement.

Because Rodni’s disappearance has not been identified as child abduction, an Amber Alert has not been issued. However, investigators said other methods are being used to get information out so Kiely and her car (a silver 2013 Honda CRV) could be identified.

A tip line for information has been set up, that number is 530-581-6320, option 7.

AUG. 8 UPDATE: Monday night, friends and community members gathered at the Truckee Community Recreation Center for a vigil in support of Kiely Rodni’s family.

The 16-year-old has now been missing for three days. She was last seen around 12:30 a.m. at a senior farewell near the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee. It has been reported that more than 100 juveniles and young adults were present.

Rodni is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 115 pounds with blond hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing green Dickies pants and a black tank top and has several piercings and jewelry, including a nose ring.

Her silver 2013 Honda CRV with California license plate 8YUR127 is also missing. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is treating this as a possible abduction.

Monday afternoon, volunteers held a statement session, where some of those who attended the party filled out witness reports.

Her mom told KOLO 8 News Now, she knew something was wrong when her daughter didn’t come home.

“She’s a good kid, she always kept in touch with me,” said Lindsey Rodni-Nieman. “She always came home on time, she always shared her location with me. This is completely out of character that we haven’t heard from her.”

She adds the campground is a known party location and that her daughter knows the area.

Hours before the statement session, about 280 volunteers gathered at the TCRC for a search. Rodni’s friend Magdalene Larson who is one of the organizers said the oldest of two was not in the right stage to drive herself that day.

“We know there’s no way she could have gotten herself out of there if she was drunk,” she said. “The roads in and out are too hard. With how drunk she was she wouldn’t have been able to navigate them.”

She adds that they had plans to get together this weekend and does not believe her friend ran away.

“We have reason to believe she might’ve left that party spot to go to another campground with a smaller group of people,” said Marika Veck. “All signs point that somebody took her and probably drugged her and has her.”

Another search will be held Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and a community meeting at 2:00 p.m. The FBI will be present at that afternoon meeting. Both events will be taking place at the TCRC.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 530-886-5375 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900. Secret Witness is offering a reward for information in the case in an amount to be determined. People who give tips to Secret Witness can remain anonymous.

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