Chilling video has emerged showing the moment divers discovered missing teen Kiely Rodni’s body inside her car submerged in a northern California reservoir.
Adventures with a Purpose, the amateur dive team that made the discovery on 21 August - more than two weeks after Kiely vanished from a graduation party at a Truckee campground, shared footage of the search in a YouTube clip titled: “How We FOUND Kiely Rodni: MURDER or ACCIDENT?”
Nick Rinn, who found the vehicle upside down in Prosser Creek Reservoir, revealed in the video that Kiely’s body was found on the passenger rear side and that one of the windows of the silver 2013 Honda CRV was halfway open, while the other was all the way “down” or “broken out.”
“She’s in the back of the vehicle,” Mr Rinn said, distraught after locating the remains. “She’s not in the driver’s seat. It looks suspicious to me. The vehicle’s upside down ... one window’s halfway down. One window is all the way down.”
The video also featured an AWP fan and roadside assistance worker by the name of Nick who claimed he helped Kiely and an unknown male she was with on the morning of 6 August, hours after the last known sighting of Kiely at a party near the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office initially said Kiely was last seen around 12.30am on 6 August during an end-of-year high school party that had around 200 juveniles in attendance.
But according to Nick, he responded to a call for a dead battery at Boca Lake on either the day she disappeared or the following day at around 11am. The roadside assistance worker told AWP he believed the female he encountered was Kiely and that she asked “weird” questions such as how she could attach her seatbelt to “her actual belt.”
He then reportedly found that vehicle’s gear shift was in neutral.
The man told AWP that she was with a young man wearing a San Francisco baseball cap and a white “bro” tank top. The female, believed to be Kiely, was reportedly uneasy around him and tried to stay apart from the man while she talked to the roadside assistance worker, he said.
Nick said the encounter was recorded but the footage belongs to the company he works for. He said he did not recall what day the exchange took place but that he had worked in the Boca lake area on Saturday 6 August and Sunday 7 August.
AWP first started their search in the Boca Lake area following the tip from Nick but did not find anything in those waters.
Doug Bishop, a diver with AWP, is shown on the Youtube video that they decided to search at Prosser Creek Reservoir despite authorities’ previous search on the lake because according to his team’s motto, “If it hasn’t been searched by [AWP,] it hasn’t been searched.”
The video also showed the moment Kiely’s father and grandfather arrived at Prosser Lake after being informed — even before law enforcement — of the discovery.
Kiely’s father, Daniel Rodni, reacted with disbelief at how close to the shoreline the vehicle was, before leaving the scene.
“How the [expletive] could they have missed it? That’s [expletive] impossible,” Mr Rodni said. “I can’t see this, because that’s going to be my last memory. I can’t [expletive] do this.”
Meanwhile, Kiely’s grandfather, David, inquired about which windows were open and whether her body was seatbelted. He then remained in front of the lake, looking at the buoy 14 feet above where Kiely’s car was found.
On Monday, Kiely’s family issued a loving tribute on their business Instagram page calling Kiely their “brilliant muse.”
“My sweet sweet girl. My love. My heart. An ocean of grief that I will cry, tear by tear, for the rest of my life. Or however long it takes to cry an ocean,” it read.
“She will not fade away, for her brother, mother, two fathers, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, and dear friends will continue singing her song to each dawning day.”
More than a dozen of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, California Highway Patrol, Placer Sheriff’s Office and Nevada County Sheriff’s Office searched for Kiely with hundreds of investigators and K-9 units for two weeks. No major developments were made in the investigation until AWP joined the search and made the discovery on 21 August, sparking criticism about how thorough the search by authorities was.
In an update after an autopsy positively identified Kiely’s body, The Placer Sheriff’s Office said no other information is available at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
It is unclear whether authorities are considering Kiely’s death a criminal matter due to the alleged sighting hours after she vanished from the party. The Independent has reached out to the department for comment.