Mom and friend of missing teenager Kiely Rodni recalls last conversations before she disappeared


Lindsey Rodni-Nieman received a text message late Friday night from her teenage daughter saying she was planning to leave a party in about 45 minutes and would be coming “straight home”.

“I told her to be safe and that I loved her. And she said, ‘OK, Mom, I love you too,'” Rodni-Nieman recalled in an interview with ABC News on Monday. “She never came home.

Kiely Rodni, 16, was last seen early Saturday around 12:30 p.m. local time near the Prosser family campground in the small northern California town of Truckee, about 20 miles north of the lake. Tahoe. She was at a party with more than 300 people when she disappeared with her vehicle, a silver 2013 Honda CRV with California license plates, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

His phone has been out of service since then, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the ongoing investigation and search.

“His cell phone died and became virtually untraceable shortly thereafter,” Angela Musallam, public information officer for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, told ABC News in an interview Monday.

When Rodni’s mother woke up that morning to find her daughter still not home and her car missing from their driveway, panic began to set in.

“I called her and also texted her, and she didn’t answer,” Rodni-Nieman said. “That’s when I knew something was wrong.”

She said she didn’t believe her daughter ran away because all of her clothes and belongings were still at home, and “it was already so irrelevant” that she didn’t call or not respond to SMS.

Kiely Rodni and her car are pictured in an image posted by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department on their Twitter account. The Placer County Sheriff’s Department is treating the case of Rodni, 16, as a potential kidnapping after he disappeared from a campground near Lake Tahoe early Saturday morning.

Placer County Sheriff’s Department/Twitter

Rodni’s friend Sami Smith said she was the last person to speak to him at the party early Saturday.

“She was having fun at a party, being just a teenager,” Smith told ABC News in an interview Monday. “Everything she drank, I drank, and there was nothing that seemed wrong with her.”

“I didn’t expect this to happen,” she added. “No one in this town did.”

With no trace of Rodni or his car, detectives are not ruling out a possible kidnapping, Musallam said. Although “at this time we have no evidence to support an abduction,” Placer County Sgt. Scott Alford told reporters during a Tuesday briefing.

“We are considering everything,” he said. “This is a missing person case, this is a search and rescue effort.”

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office urged anyone who saw her that night to come forward, and so far investigators have received more than 200 tips, Alford said Tuesday.

Other local, state and federal agencies, including the Truckee Police Department, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol and the FBI, are assisting the Placer County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation, according to Musallam.

On Tuesday, helicopters from the California Highway Patrol and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office continued to conduct an aerial search for the teenager and her car.

Authorities, along with Rodni’s family, are urging everyone who attended the party to cooperate with the investigation. In particular, investigators ask for photographs or video of that night to help them piece together a timeline. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Rodni’s safe return.

“We’re just begging, begging you to please come forward and share your story,” Rodni-Nieman said.

Anyone with information about Rodni or his whereabouts can call the Placer County Sheriff’s Office phone line at 530-581-6320 and select option seven. Callers can remain anonymous.

ABC News’ Meredith Deliso contributed to this report.

ABC News

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