Update from Kiely Rodni: California coroner rules out ‘foul play’ in drowning death of missing teen
The death of Kiely Rodni, a 16-year-old California man who disappeared after a high school end-of-summer party near Lake Tahoe in August, has been officially ruled an accidental drowning, authorities said Thursday.
Rodni was last seen shortly after midnight at a large party near Prosser Creek Reservoir in the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee, California.
Authorities initially treated her disappearance as a possible kidnapping and searched the area for more than two weeks without finding any sign of the missing girl or her vehicle, a silver Honda CRV. Despite conducting more than 100 interviews, investigators struggled to locate anyone who had seen her leave the area, accessible by a bumpy dirt road.
Then, on August 21, Adventures with Purpose, a for-profit YouTube search and rescue group, revisited the reservoir with sonar and scuba gear and found his vehicle upside down under 14 feet of water. water.
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By then, the water level had dropped about three feet from where it was when Rodni disappeared, authorities said at the time.
« She’s in the back of the vehicle, » AWP diver Nick Rinn said after surfacing in a video shared online. « She’s not in the driver’s seat. That looks suspicious to me. »
Police later confirmed that the remains found inside the submerged vehicle belonged to Rodni.
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However, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office told local media on Thursday that a medical examiner found « there was no other information to suggest she was the victim of foul play, » according to the Sacramento-based FOX 40.
The autopsy was performed in August, after his remains were recovered, but officials had previously withheld the findings and said they expected the full autopsy report to be ready by November 1.
Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon did not immediately respond to calls from Fox News Digital, but her office confirmed the statement.
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It’s unclear how Rodni’s vehicle ended up underwater, but friend Sami Smith told Fox News Digital shortly after her disappearance that the teenager was likely too drunk to drive the night she disappeared . The area has no artificial lighting and the dirt road is rocky and uneven.
Rodni’s family did not immediately respond to messages following the sheriff’s announcement.