Follow for the latest updates
The desperate search for missing teen Kiely Rodni who disappeared after a party at a California campground has entered its fifth day.
Kiely, 16, was last seen around 12.30am on 6 August near the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee, where she attended an allegedly alcohol-fuelled gathering of more than 200 teens and young adults.
An investigation was launched by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office the next morning after Kiely failed to show up for a hike with friends.
The case is being treated as an abduction because Kiely’s car is unaccounted for. More than 260 personnel have been canvassing the area on the ground and in the air and more than 500 tips have been received from the public.
Investigators say they don’t have any new leads, but still suspect someone in the community knows more.
Kiely’s mother Lindsey Rodni-Nieman issued a desperate appeal to partygoers to come forward as she revealed that her daughter almost didn’t go to the party the night she vanished. Not knowing what has happened to Kiely is “a very difficult place” to be in, she said.
Kiely Rodni’s mother reveals she almost didn’t go to camp party
The mother of Kiely Rodni has revealed that her daughter almost didn’t go to the campground party the night she disappeared as she issued a gut-wrenching plea to local teenagers to help “piece together” what happened.
Lindsey Rodni-Nieman spoke to The Independent on Thursday as the search for her missing 16-year-old daughter entered its fifth day and investigators are no closer to getting answers as to her whereabouts.
She said that Kiely had planned to go to a car show in Reno with her mother on Friday night but texted her during the day to say that she was going to go to a party at the Prosser Family Campground instead.
Ms Rodni-Nieman said she wishes Kiely had never gone to the party that night and had joined her at the car show that night. But she said thinking like that is “not helpful”.
The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:
EXCLUSIVE: Kiely Rodni’s mother tells Rachel Sharp how ‘nothing was out of the ordinary’ the day her daughter disappeared and why she thinks someone knows something that will lead them to the missing teen
Campground was popular for teenage parties
The Prosser Family Campground is a popular hangout spot for local teenagers and is seen as a “safe space” for young people, Kiely’s mother’s Lindsey Rodni-Nieman has revealed.
Teenagers have partied and hung out at the campground going back decades and Kiely had been to several parties there before Friday.
“It feels like a safe place. Like a neighbourhood backyard,” said Ms Rodni-Nieman.
“It’s a couple of miles out of town and is just this open space with reservoirs and camping and dirt roads. Lots of people go riding dirt bikes or hiking and it’s a community space.”
What was different that night was that the party was “very large” with teens from different schools all over the region descending there.
“There’s not generally so many people there. That’s what made it unusual,” said Kiely’s mother.
Officials have said that around 200 to 300 teenagers and young adults gathered for the party that night.
Everything we know about the disappearance of Kiely Rodni
A desperate search continues for 16-year-old Kiely Rodni, who vanished from a party at a northern California campground on 5 August.
Kiely was last seen around 12.30am on Saturday (6 August) near the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said.
She is described as white, 5’7” tall, and 115 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She has numerous piercings and jewelry, including a nose ring, and was last seen wearing green Dickies pants and a black tank top.
The FBI, Homeland Security, California Highway Patrol and several other local law enforcement agencies have joined the Placer Sheriff’s Office in the search for Kiley. Hundreds of investigators and K-9 units are searching for Kiely, but no leads have emerged that could possibly indicate what happened to her after the party.
The Independent’s Andrea Blanco has the full story:
Kiely Rodni is described as white, 5’7” tall, and 115 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing green Dickies pants and a black tank top
Partygoers urged to come forward with any information
Officials and Kiely Rodni’s family members are urging partygoers to come forward with information – no matter how big or small.
Kiely’s mother Lindsey Rodni-Nieman issued a desperate appeal begging teens to help piece together what happened to her daughter as she believes someone must know something that could help.
“We are desperate for any other teens to come out and share the last pieces of the story that nobody seems to be able to piece together,” she told The Independent Thursday.
“If we could just have that piece of the story of who she did leave with, when, which way did she go. I’m imploring the teenagers and the parents of the teenagers.”
She added: “I do think that there are stories from that night that have not been told and I think that as soon as those people who have stories have courage to come forward and share it would be such a massive turning point and could help slingshot us forward.”
Ms Rodni-Nieman also urged “parents to beg their kids to share anything they know”.
Boyfriend says he taught her to ‘get out of sticky situations’
Kiely’s boyfriend Jagger Westfall said that both he and Kiely’s father had taught the teen to “to get out of sticky situations” and insisted that he believes she is “alive and well”.
“Her dad taught her a lot of stuff about like self defence, things like that,” he told KTXL.
“I taught her how to get out of sticky situations. I know that she’s smart. She wouldn’t do something that would definitely put her life at risk.
“I really need her back. I really just need to know that she’s safe, that’s all I need at this point, I really want to hug her again.”
He added: “I definitely feel like that in this current situation that she’s safe.
“I don’t know where she is. We don’t have anything to go off of at this point. But, I fully believe that she’s alive and well.”
Kiely’s mother says there was ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ on day of disappearance
Kiely’s mother has spoken out to say that there was “nothing out of the ordinary” with her daughter on the day she vanished.
Lindsey Rodni-Nieman told The Independent on Thursday that she last saw Kiely on Friday morning and spoke to her by text message that night, not long before her last known sighting.
It was just any normal day.
Kiely had come downstairs in their home that morning and mother and daughter chatted about their plans for the day.
“It was ‘Morning, hi, love you’ and talking about plans for the day – just a little check-in as normal,” said Ms Rodni-Nieman.
She said: “She did not seem out of the ordinary at all. Everything seemed the same, she had a big smile on her face and she was ready to greet the day. She was having a good day and week and was excited about going camping the following night. We had a great exchange.”
The mother and daughter last spoke to each other at around 11.30pm that night when Kiely texted her to say she would be leaving the party soon.
“She said she’d be leaving at 12.15 and was going to start heading home,” she said.
That was the last time Ms Rodni-Nieman heard from her daughter.
More than 500 tips received
Authorities have received more than 500 tips in the search for the missing teen, Placer County Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday.
Multiple law enformcement agencies have been drafted in to help find Kiely Rodni with 224 personnel assigned to the case together working for over 7,030 hours.
Law enforcement to hold press conference later today
Law enforcement officials have annnounced that they will update the public and the media about the investigation later today.
A press conference will be held at 2 pm local time (5pm ET) on Thursday at the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District in Truckee.
In a statement announcing the briefing, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada County Sheriff’s Office sad that they continue to search for Kiely with numerous resources and agencies responding to help find the teen.
“Searchers from across the state continue their search on the ground, in the air, and in the water – so far, we only have information on Kiely’s last known location before she went missing,” the statement read.
“Detectives from local, state, and federal agencies continue to follow up on leads and conduct interviews in hopes of locating Kiely and her vehicle.”
A community meeting will also be held at 5.30pm local time at the centre.
GoFundMe to increase reward money tops $30,000
A GoFundMe launched to increase the reward money for information that helps in the search for Kiely Rodni has now topped $30,000.
The campaign reached $31,770 as of Thursday morning local time.
“With the consent of Kiely’s parents, I am starting this gofundme to help increase the reward for her return,” writes organiser Amie Quirarte.
“We hope this will encourage more people to come forward with any information that can help bring this sweet girl home. Right now, the reward is $5,000. Let’s get that number higher and bring her home. Please consider donating!”
Community rallies round family
As the search rumbles on with no answers as to Kiely’s whereabouts, her mother Lindsey Rodni-Neiman told The Independent that she is grateful for all the support from her loved ones and the local community.
Family members have travelled from all across the US to California to support her and join in the search.
But, as time ticks by, the nights and mornings are becoming especially hard.
“It’s the nights and mornings that are really difficult because we’re just at home and idle and it always feels better to be in action and be moving and doing something,” she said on Thursday morning.
“I’m so grateful my family is here to help and to breathe love and energy and distraction into the home… Then we go out into the world and the town and we’re surrounded by the love and support of the community.”
Close friends and community members gathered together for a vigil on Wednesday night, including her old violin teacher who played some of the teenager’s favourite songs.