Kiely Rodni went missing after a party, and her body was discovered inside her submerged vehicle in Prosser Reservoir in late August by a volunteer dive team. On Thursday, autopsy results were announced, revealing that she passed away from an accidental drowning and there was no proof that foul play was involved.
“This ruling is based on the pathologist’s finding that her death was the result of drowning and that there was no other information to suggest she was the victim of foul play,” the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The office is still working with Rodni’s family “by evaluating any additional information related to this investigation,” it noted.
Authorities previously said they were set to announce more information in November.
Rodni went missing after a large party in Truckee, California, in August, and authorities were concerned that the teen had been abducted since her car had also not been found. Her phone was last detected near Prosser Reservoir, but prior attempts to locate her in the area had not yielded any evidence of Rodni or the car.
When a volunteer dive team out of Oregon, called Adventures with Purpose, got involved in the case, they discovered her missing vehicle in Prosser Lake with Rodni inside. The car was flipped over 14 feet underwater.
At the time, however, there were questions about the discovery, and the group released a documentary on Youtube about it. Nick Rinn, the diver who found Rodni, said the situation still didn’t seem right to him after finding the teen’s body.
“She’s in the back of the vehicle. She’s not in the driver’s seat. It looks suspicious to me,” Rinn said.
“It was so shocking because I couldn’t believe we came in after all that time and found it,” he told Fox News Digital. “It was also a sad moment, a very emotional moment for all of us involved. No one wants to tell a parent, ‘We found your daughter and she’s not coming home.’”
Daniel Rodni, Kieły’s father, can reportedly be heard on the documentary questioning how law enforcement didn’t find the vehicle.
“Right there?” He asked. “How in the f*** could they have missed it?!”
“They missed her because of their lack of expertise and communication,” the group’s lead investigator Doug Bishop told Fox News Digital of the attempts by law enforcement to find Rodni.
Bishop said that he didn’t believe the death was an accident at the time because of other circumstances surrounding the incident. In the documentary, Bishop spoke to a worker who had gotten a call about a dead battery in the area on August 7, hours after Rodni’s phone was last detected. The man arrived and said he found a young girl and a man who were not acting normally. He also said the car didn’t end up having a dead battery at all and was in the neutral gear. Officials were able to acquire surveillance video of the situation.
Bishop also raised questions about the location of Rodni’s body in the car. The teen was found towards the back of the vehicle rather than the driver’s seat, even though there were windows through which she could have possibly escaped. However, Tammy Watters of Sonar Search and Recovery noted that bodies are often found in the back of the vehicle if a car crashes into water.
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