San Francisco Chronicle

Officials plead for tips on missing teenager

- By Emma Talley and Michael Cabanatuan Emma Talley and Michael Cabanatuan are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email: emma.talley@sfchronicl­, mcabanatua­n@sfchronicl­ Twitter: @EmmaT332, @ctuan

“We’re so scared, and we miss her so much. And we love her so much.” Lindsey Rodni-Nieman, mother of Kiely Rodni

TRUCKEE, Nevada County — The massive search for a missing Truckee teen continued Tuesday afternoon, with law enforcemen­t officials pleading with the hundreds of teens and young adults who attended the party where Kiely Rodni was last seen Saturday morning to come forward with informatio­n.

“Out of the 200 to 300 people that were at the party, somebody knows something about Kiely,” Angela Musallam, a sheriff 's spokespers­on said at a press briefing and community meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Truckee Community Recreation Center.

While sheriff 's officials said they have received more than 100 tips — and are investigat­ing each one — they've received little informatio­n from those attending the party, an unofficial event that apparently swelled from a small gathering of friends to a raging party.

Some of those partygoers may be afraid to step forward, because drugs and alcohol were consumed at the party, and some attendees' parents may not have known they were present, law enforcemen­t officials said. But Scott Alford, a detective sergeant with the Placer County Sheriff's Department, said that's not the focus of the investigat­ion.

“We are not investigat­ing their conduct that night,” he said, turning to some of the many teens in the audience. “We are not investigat­ing you; we are partnering with you to find Keily.”

Hoping to shake loose some useful tips from the partygoers, Rodni's friend, Sami Smith, 18, was inviting young people to informal “teen-toteen” talks without parents, police or other adults present. One was held immediatel­y after the afternoon briefing

with about 15 to 20 teens, mostly girls, sticking around to talk.

“I see a lot of faces here. I know a lot of you. We go to school together,” Smith said as the briefing broke up. “Please come talk to us right now.”

Little new informatio­n was disclosed at the news briefing. Alford said that the FBI, which is assisting in the case, determined that Rodni's cell phone was last in use at 12:33 a.m.

He also said that while the case is described as a possible abduction, it's only been labeled that way because both Kiely and her silver Honda CRX are still missing.

“Right now we don't have any evidence that supports an abduction,” Alford said. “Because

we don't know, we are not ruling any possibilit­y out.”

Scores of law enforcemen­t officers, three teams in helicopter­s and dozens of volunteers continued to scour the Lake Tahoe area and beyond Tuesday for Rodni.

She was last seen at the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The party — which had been promoted on social media, including Snapchat — drew more than 100 people, according to the Sheriff 's Office, and as many as 250, from as far away as the Bay Area, according to organizers.

“We just want her home,” Rodni's mother, Lindsey Rodni-Nieman said in a video posted to the sheriff 's Twitter account. “We're so scared, and we miss her so much. And we love her so much.”

“I want nothing more than to hug you,” Rodni-Nieman added, speaking directly to her daughter.

A number of law enforcemen­t agencies are assisting Placer County with the search, including the Nevada County Sheriff 's Office, the California Highway Patrol, Truckee Police, Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigat­ion.

Three helicopter­s were searching for Rodni and her vehicle, and 77 personnel have been assigned to the search.

Smith, who helped organize the party, is helping coordinate volunteer search efforts. She said she spent most of the night at the party with Rodni and was the last known person to speak with her at about 12:25 a.m.

Smith planned to leave the party but said Rodni planned to stay. But no one saw her walk to her car or drive away, Smith said. Rodni's cell phone has been out of service since the party, sheriff 's officials said.

“We are leaving no stone unturned,” said Musallam, “and we are exploring every possibilit­y at this point. We are really looking.”

After the briefing, a community member gathered a large group of teenagers, parents and Truckee residents and led them in prayer.

“We are praying for a miracle today,” she said as they stood solemnly in the parking lot of the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District office, hands linked and eyes closed. Some parents hugged their teenage children, and others stood huddled in small groups, whispering anxiously.

As they waited for the teen meeting to begin, some talked about Kiely.

“She was literally the most badass person,” said Mesh Depaoli, 16. She worked with Rodni at a local boba tea shop. “You could talk to her about anything,” she said. “She knows the solution for everything.”

Abby Bunker, another coworker, said Rodni had an illuminati­ng presence. “She walks into a room and she just makes the whole room brighter.”

“It's a small town. Everyone is affected by this,” said Addy Carter, 17. She said she attended the Friday party but left early for volleyball tryouts.

“The town just doesn't feel like Truckee anymore,” Bunker added. Depaoli chimed in: “The vibes are off. Everyone's just on edge.”

Rodni was described by authoritie­s as a white female, blonde with hazel eyes, about 5-foot-7 and 118 pounds. She has numerous piercings, including a nose ring, and a tattoo of the number 17 on her ribs. She was last seen wearing green Dickies pants and a black tank top, according to reports. Her car, a silver 2013 Honda CRV, has California license plates with the number 8YUR127.

There is a $50,000 reward for informatio­n leading to her being found. Officials have asked anyone with informatio­n to call the sheriff 's tip line at 530-581-6320 and press option 7. Anonymous tips are accepted, sheriff 's officials said.

 ?? Placer County Sheriff’s Office ?? Northern California officials are asking for help in finding Kiely Rodni, who went missing after a party at a campground.
Placer County Sheriff’s Office Northern California officials are asking for help in finding Kiely Rodni, who went missing after a party at a campground.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States