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Moment diver finds Kiely Rodni’s remains in the back of her SUV with the windows DOWN in reservoir

A YouTube dive team has branded Kiely Rodni’s death ‘suspicious’ as her devestated father is demanding to know why the group found his daughter’s body after cops had already searched a lake close to where she vanished.

Police called in Adventures With Purpose (AWP) to help them to find the missing 16-year-old, who then discovered her car in Prosser Lake, California, just 35 minutes after starting their search.

In a newly-released video, the team show how they found her car upside-down in just 14ft of water, and 55ft from the shore, using sonar technology.

The team from AWP took two sonar boats onto the water at 10.40am on August 21, and identified Kiely’s 2013 silver Honda under the water at 11.15am.

They confirmed that her body was found in the back of the car, with the passenger window broken and the drivers rear window halfway down. 

She was also confirmed to not be wearing a seatbelt, and it is unclear the exact circumstances that led to the windows being open and broken. 

After surfacing from his dive Nick Rinn, part of AWP, said: ‘She’s in the back of the vehicle, she’s not in the drivers seat.

‘It looks suspicious to me, vehicles upside down one window is halfway down one window is all the way down.’

The team then call Rodni’s relatives, before contacting authorities, with her dad David and grandfather rushing to the scene to see what the divers found.

When told how close to shore the car was, and that it was int eh same area that cops had previously scoured, David said: ‘How the f*** could they have missed it? That f***ing impossible’.

 

Kiely Rodni, 16, has been found in her car in a California lake, a search and rescue group has claimed. Police are yet to confirm the discovery

 

Rodni was last seen on August 6, leaving a party she had attended with other high school graduates near Lake Tahoe, and heading home

Rodni was last seen on August 6, leaving a party she had attended with other high school graduates near Lake Tahoe, and heading home to Truckee just 12 miles away

 

Kiely's furious father David, pictured second left, said 'how the f***' did they miss it' when he found out how close his daughter's car was to the shore

Kiely’s furious father David, pictured second left, said ‘how the f***’ did they miss it’ when he found out how close his daughter’s car was to the shore

 

Adventures With Purpose confirmed that her body was found in the back of the car, with the passenger window broken and the drivers rear window halfway down

Adventures With Purpose confirmed that her body was found in the back of the car, with the passenger window broken and the drivers rear window halfway down

 

Divers confirmed that they could see some items and human remains in the silver vehicle after spotting it with their state-of-the-art sonar system

Divers confirmed that they could see some items and human remains in the silver vehicle after spotting it with their state-of-the-art sonar system

 

Diver Nick Rinn, pictured, said that he thought the discovery was 'suspicious' after positivley identifying the car as Kiely's.  Teams from Placer County, Nevada County and Alameda County were all involved in the search for the teen who vanished after a party at Prosser Family Campground on August 6

Diver Nick Rinn, pictured, said that he thought the discovery was ‘suspicious’ after positivley identifying the car as Kiely’s.  Teams from Placer County, Nevada County and Alameda County were all involved in the search for the teen who vanished after a party at Prosser Family Campground on August 6

Her dad then asked a few questions about how she was found, before getting emotional and saying ‘I can’t see this cause it’s going to be my last memory and I can’t f***ing do it’ before leaving the scene.

Dive teams from Placer County, Nevada County and Alameda County were all involved in the search for the teen who vanished after a party at Prosser Family Campground on August 6.

Her cell phone last pinged around 12:30am near the campground’s reservoir after she texted her mother to say she was heading back to Truckee, just 12 miles from the party.

Authorities, including the FBI, say that they scanned through nearly 2,000 tips in the two-week hunt for Rodni, and spent almost 20,000 hours looking for her.

The teenager sent her mother Lindsey, 42, a text message saying she planned to leave in 45 minutes at approximately 11.30pm.

She had been due to meet friends at a local Starbucks at 9am ahead of a camping trip but failed to show up – prompting her mother to sound the alarm.

 

A body found in the back of an SUV submerged in a Northern California reservoir has been confirmed to be that of 16-year-old Kiely Rodni, who went missing weeks ago after attending a party at a nearby campground

A body found in the back of an SUV submerged in a Northern California reservoir has been confirmed to be that of 16-year-old Kiely Rodni, who went missing weeks ago after attending a party at a nearby campground

 

Doug Bishop and Nick Rinn announced that they had confirmed the silver vehicle they discovered was the missing teenagers. They added that official authorities would be conducting identification of the remains in the car in the coming weeks during a press conference

Doug Bishop and Nick Rinn announced that they had confirmed the silver vehicle they discovered was the missing teenagers. They added that official authorities would be conducting identification of the remains in the car in the coming weeks during a press conference

 

Divers confirmed that they found Rodni's car, a silver 2013 Honda CRV, in Prosser Lake. They identified the car by the license plate number - 8YUR127

Divers confirmed that they found Rodni’s car, a silver 2013 Honda CRV, in Prosser Lake. They identified the car by the license plate number – 8YUR127

 

Police dive teams joined the search for Kiely on August 9th and exclusive DailyMail.com photos show boats searching the Prosser Creek Reservoir, which is a 760-acre stretch of water

Police dive teams joined the search for Kiely on August 9th and exclusive DailyMail.com photos show boats searching the Prosser Creek Reservoir, which is a 760-acre stretch of water

Key differences between YouTube divers and official police search

Adventures with Purpose have helped close 23 cold cases by using state-of-the art Garmin sonar technology, and use an inflatable boats which all have down imaging, side scan and a live scan to search deep within the water.

Authorities searching the same stretch of water days before claim that they were unable to see anything because of the nature of the lake bed, saying it was like ‘going through mud’. 

Police divers started searching for the missing teen three days after she vanished from a graduation party – and spent tow days coming the body of water her car was found in.

They used a ‘phased’ search because they did not want to disturb the muddy lake bed and divers were a ‘last resort’.

AWP found Rodni’s SUV within 35 minutes on the water.

Police are waiting a full autopsy with toxicology reports and say the investigation is ongoing, but they confirmed that the remains were Kiely’s. 

Placer County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown said at a press conference that the cops linked up with AWP after ‘realizing an interest’ and ‘reading online’.

Doug Bishop, who leads the team, explained in the video spotting the ‘weird’ reading on a sonar scanner.

He said: ‘That is giving me a really weird reading, it looks just like a car it looks just like an SUV.

‘It’s giving me some misreading’s just the way a newer car would.’

The Oregon-based group says it has solved more than 20 missing persons cases using sonar and search-and-rescue techniques for its dive team.

Bishop said they put two sonar boats in the water at 10:40am and by 11:15am Rinn detected an object with sonar technology. Bishop said he was able to confirm it was a vehicle. Rinn put on his gear and conducted the dive to examine the car.

‘Once we confirmed it was indeed Kiely’s vehicle we immediately notified family, law enforcement and (the teen’s) dad and grandpa were on scene within minutes,’ Bishop said.

Rodni was last seen alive August 6 near the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee, attending a party with hundreds of young people, authorities have said.

The campground is at the reservoir in the Sierra Nevada, about 165 miles northeast of San Francisco.

She had been due to meet friends at a local Starbucks at 9am ahead of a camping trip but failed to show up – prompting her mother to sound the alarm.

Placer County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown said at a press conference that the cops linked up with AWP after ‘realizing an interest’ and ‘reading online’.

He said: ‘We did link up Sgt Mike Powers with them, there was lots of communication as they were traveling to the area.

 

Doug Bishop, who leads the team, explained in the video spotting the ‘weird’ reading on a sonar scanner which made him think that it was a newer car

Doug Bishop, who leads the team, explained in the video spotting the ‘weird’ reading on a sonar scanner which made him think that it was a newer car

 

Their equipment allows them to see through all of the layers of the water, using down and side imaging as well as sonar

Their equipment allows them to see through all of the layers of the water, using down and side imaging as well as sonar 

 

Rodni (pictured) disappeared on August 6 from the Prosser Family Campground where she was attending a party with hundreds of other teens

Rodni (pictured) disappeared on August 6 from the Prosser Family Campground where she was attending a party with hundreds of other teens

 

An updated graphic from the police showed they had spent 19,000 hours searching for the missing teenager, with a number of agencies getting involved in the case

An updated graphic from the police showed they had spent 19,000 hours searching for the missing teenager, with a number of agencies getting involved in the case

Timeline of Rodni’s disappearance

AUGUST 5:

6:08pm: Rodni is caught on surveillance camera footage at a local business in Truckee.

10pm: Rodni and her friend Mags arrive at the party at Prosser Family Campground. Before Rodni arrived, her boyfriend, Jagger Westfall, texted her complaining about his day, and adding: ‘OK. Be safe. Don’t do anything stupid.’

10:30pm: Rodni replies to Westfall, and says: ‘Oh, I’m sorry that you’re going through that.’

11:30pm: Rodni texts her mother to say that she is planning on leaving the party in 45 minutes.

AUGUST 6:

12:03am: Rodni shares her location – the campground – with her mother. 

12:25am: Rodni’s friend Sami sees her, gives her a hug, and says get home safe.

12:30am: SnapChat data shows a ping at the campground. Two campers witness a large number of cars drive away.

12:36am: Rodni calls Sami, asking if she still needs a lift home. Sami says she can hear music and people in the background. 

8am: Rodni’s mother wakes up and realizes her daughter has not returned home.

9am: Friends wait at a Starbucks for Rodni to show up for their camping trip.

‘Detailed information was shared, that wasn’t out to the public yet, and hopefully that was of assistance to them to locate the area to go to.’

When asked why officers investigating the disappearance didn’t find the car when they first searched, he said: ‘The lake was extensively search with sonar, with a remotely operated vehicle, with divers and swimmers.

‘Part of what we have to do is go back and debrief. Tracking underwater is an extremely difficult thing to do.

‘A lot of this equipment is high-end, very expensive and you really need to have a lot of practice and expertise.

‘AWP are able to hone them and we appreciate them being able to come out and assist.’

Initially Rodni’s disappearance was being treated as a possible abduction, something which Placer County Sheriff’s department denied in a press conference.

Officers said that by not ruling out abduction as a possible reason for her vanishing, may have helped get more assistance from various agencies.

Capt. Brown added: ‘I think there was a lot of miscommunication, I don’t think it was ever labelled as abduction, but you can’t ever take that off the table.

‘You couldn’t remove it off the table, we hadn’t found her. There was some struggle with some services, we wanted to obtain things and couldn’t.

‘We couldn’t say that it wasn’t, and it was clarified very early on but we wouldn’t have received all the resources we did if that wasn’t the case.’

Rodni’s family issued a statement paying tribute to her life saying: ‘We are eternally grateful for the love and support you have shown us in the last couple of weeks.

‘We have weathered a storm of unfathomable force, and it is purely thanks to the army of warriors, matriarchs, healers, and helpers holding us up that we continue to stand today.

‘Mr. Rogers famously told a story of ‘looking for the helpers’ whenever he saw scary things in the news.

‘We have not had to look for the helpers, as you have all come to our rescue in full force. We are forever indebted to you.’

The family, which runs a small hotel near Truckee, encouraged those who knew the teenager to celebrate her life and remember her example.

‘While we accept this sadness cast under death’s shadow, the rising sun shines light upon us, reminding us not to mourn our loss, but to celebrate Kiely’s spirit and the gift that we all received in knowing her,’ the statement reads.

‘Kiely will surely remain with us even though we will not get her back.

‘There are certain occasions when words fail. Perhaps this is why our human nature has given us art, dance, and music, which all are often more effective ways to connect us to each other and our rawest emotions.

‘Kindly excuse us as we retreat and dance privately to life’s song while we celebrate our daughter’s spirit and heal our souls.’

What state-of-the-art equipment allowed the YouTube amateur divers to track down the car? 

Using their state-of-the-art Garmin sonar technology, the team gets into inflatable boats which all have down imaging, side scan and a live scope to search deep within the water on board.

The tech, which costs between $1,499 and $2,499 just for one part of the sonar equipment, can help to penetrate deep into the water to locate large objects.

Adventures With Purpose have so far helped to close 23 cold cases by using the equipment, and previously said that they ‘self-taught’ themselves how to read sonar in detail.

They said: ‘We started running into human remains in the vehicles and in finding these cars.

‘We self-taught ourselves how to read sonar and we realize, after solving many of these cases, we can read sonar better than some of these law enforcement agencies.’

Their equipment allows them to see through all of the layers of the water, using down and side imaging as well as sonar. 

But the authorities searching the same stretch of water days before claim that they were unable to see anything because of the nature of the lakebed – with cops previously saying it was like ‘going through mud’. 

 

Using their state-of-the-art Garmin sonar technology, the team gets into inflatable boats which all have down imaging, side scan and a live scope to search deep within the water on board. They used this to identify the car that was in 14ft of water just 55ft from the shore of the reservoir

Using their state-of-the-art Garmin sonar technology, the team gets into inflatable boats which all have down imaging, side scan and a live scope to search deep within the water on board. They used this to identify the car that was in 14ft of water just 55ft from the shore of the reservoir 

 

Nick and Doug took to the water on August 21, twelve days after a marine team from the Sheriffs department searched the area and found nothing. The diving pair tracked down and identified the teenagers car in less than half an hour after getting in the boat

Nick and Doug took to the water on August 21, twelve days after a marine team from the Sheriffs department searched the area and found nothing. The diving pair tracked down and identified the teenagers car in less than half an hour after getting in the boat

 

She was last seen on local surveillance footage wearing a black bodysuit and green Dickies pants on August 5. Police launched an investigation after the teen failed to come home and they could not locate her car

She was last seen on local surveillance footage wearing a black bodysuit and green Dickies pants on August 5. Police launched an investigation after the teen failed to come home and they could not locate her car

Placer County Sherriff’s Office worked with the team to help locate the car, with Doug saying it was an ‘incredible’ experience to work with them. 

The dive team was supported by Nevada County’s Marine Unit and Alameda County Sherriff’s Office dive team volunteers. 

In total all three units had at least 15 divers who are supported by other volunteers and boast of their sonar and Navy standard tech. 

Placer County has a custom build Moose M2 boat which has sonar, diving gear, towing gear and a color digital radar. 

Nevada County has a downward looking sonar that is mounted to is largest jet boat, which they said ‘assists the dive team in locating objects submerged in deeper water.’

All three have access to scuba gear, underwater lighting, night goggles and a fleet of different boats. 

How much time did authorities spend searching Prosser Lake Reservoir for Kiely?  

Police divers started searching for the missing teen three days after she vanished from a graduation party, with sources saying they feared she had accidentally driver her car into the reservoir.

Swimmers were initially sent into the Prosser Lake Reservoir, as authorities were concerned about disturbing the lake bed which could make their search more difficult. 

They searched various locations on foot, by air and in water in the two week long hunt for the teenager, but spent two days combing the body of water her car was found in during the first week.  

Placer County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown previously confirmed that the teams searching the water used a phased approach.

They initially sent out swimmers along the surface using masks to search he reservoir because of the lakebed’s composition, claiming it caused it to become too murky.

 

The dive team was supported by Nevada County's Marine Unit and Alameda County Sherriff's Office dive team volunteers. The car was marked with a red balloon, pictured above, close to the shoreline of the reservoir with law enforcement and the divers taking over the scene over the weekend

The dive team was supported by Nevada County’s Marine Unit and Alameda County Sherriff’s Office dive team volunteers. The car was marked with a red balloon, pictured above, close to the shoreline of the reservoir with law enforcement and the divers taking over the scene over the weekend

 

Friends said Kiely had appeared very drunk at the party and said they believe she has been taken because her Honda CRV SUV still hasn't been found.

Friends said Kiely had appeared very drunk at the party and didn’t think that she would have driven in her state. The teen texted her mother to say that she was returning home but that was the last contact they had with her

 

A dive team from the Nevada County Sheriff's Department was on site early Tuesday morning and was seen setting up in a spot next to the reservoir, southwest of the camping area and accessible by a dirt trail

A dive team from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department was on site early Tuesday morning and was seen setting up in a spot next to the reservoir, southwest of the camping area and accessible by a dirt trail

 

Dirt bikes, along with Land Rovers, helicopters and boats are all being used in the search of the 16-year-old

Dirt bikes, along with Land Rovers, helicopters and boats are all being used in the search of the 16-year-old 

He said: ‘Once you start maneuvering the ground it’s like going through mud. There [are] so many levels to this.

‘We had boats, we had side zones, which allow you to see things, certain types of fish finders, which can go lower down into the water.

‘But at that point we still hadn’t touched the ground or anything like that, once you touch the ground you could potentially have all that earth come back up over any kind of evidentiary item.

‘So divers were the last case scenario in the attempt because for the most part, you could go in over and over and over again, but potentially you get one shot at it.’

Adventures With Purpose became involved in the search and rescue mission from August 15, but only started searching areas on August 20th. 

They scoured nearby Lake Donner and other shallower ponds on Saturday, August 20th.

They then went on to Boca Reservoir, putting two boats in the water, where they searched for several more hours, before searching Prosser Lake Reservoir on August 21.

In total the group is understood to have looked for the missing teenager for less than 24 hours, and discovered her car in the previously searched water in just 35 minutes.  

Did authorities have enough experience with specialist sonar technology to find the missing teen?

Adventures With Purpose set up their group just over three years ago, after they accidentally found a submerged vehicle and were contacted by a family to try to find a missing loved one.

Since then the team of ten people say that they have been expanding, and teaching themselves how to track down vehicles and other objects in deep water using sonar.

Previously they’ve said that since starting out in 2019, they have realized that authorities don’t necessarily know how to use the equipment efficiently.

Law enforcement insisted that they had searched the area’s close to the lake thoroughly before expanding the search.

Placer County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown said: ‘Their expertise in diving and the equipment they brought to the table assisted us and we appreciate that.’

He added that the team would have to ‘debrief’ together to get a better understanding of the equipment and skill set the AWP has compared to police divers. 

 

Placer County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown, pictured at a press conference on August 22, said that they had asked for the help of AWP because of their 'expertise' in diving. He added that his team would debrief with the amateur divers to get a better understanding of how to use their equipment and if any additional training was needed

Placer County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown, pictured at a press conference on August 22, said that they had asked for the help of AWP because of their ‘expertise’ in diving. He added that his team would debrief with the amateur divers to get a better understanding of how to use their equipment and if any additional training was needed

 

Using their state-of-the-art Garmin sonar technology, the team gets into inflatable boats which all have down imaging, side scan and a live scope to search deep within the water on board. The tech, which costs between $1,499 and $2,499 just for one part of the sonar equipment, can help to penetrate deep into the water to locate large objects

Using their state-of-the-art Garmin sonar technology, the team gets into inflatable boats which all have down imaging, side scan and a live scope to search deep within the water on board. The tech, which costs between $1,499 and $2,499 just for one part of the sonar equipment, can help to penetrate deep into the water to locate large objects

 

Law enforcement insisted that they had searched the area’s close to the lake thoroughly before expanding the search. The area they had previously search is seen here, also marking the spot where the car was found with a red float

Law enforcement insisted that they had searched the area’s close to the lake thoroughly before expanding the search. The area they had previously search is seen here, also marking the spot where the car was found with a red float

Capt Brown added: ‘The lake was extensively search with sonar, with a remotely operated vehicle, with divers and swimmers. 

‘Part of what we have to do is go back and debrief. Tracking underwater is exceptionally difficult. 

‘You need to have a lot of practice and expertise with that, and AWP are able to hone them and we appreciate them being able to come out and assist.’

Josh Cantu, who is part of the volunteer team, claimed that authorities told them that they had undergone a ‘rigorous search’.

He added that they handed them a grid map and made them ‘confident’ they didn’t need to search the area, but the group decided to anyway and made the grim discovery.

However it was denied by Placer County Sherriff’s office that they told the team not to search the area, adding that they gave them ‘detailed’ information.  

In comparison to Adventures With Purpose’s less than three year experience, parts of the county’s marine unit and dive team boast that they were set up in the 1950’s, according to Alameda County.

The cops also brag of their state-of the -art sonar technology, though they do not have the area scanning equipment that the volunteer group boats.

Adventures with Purpose: Oregon-based YouTuber who was an eco-warrior cleaning dirty lakes but has now solved 23 missing persons’ cases 

 

Jared Leisek began Adventures with Purpose for fun, to hunt down objects and potentially return them to their owners

Jared Leisek began Adventures with Purpose for fun, to hunt down objects and potentially return them to their owners

The Oregon-based group is a search and rescue dive team, specializing in finding missing people. Their website states they have solved 23 missing persons cases since 2019.

Jared Leisek, the founder, began the YouTube channel as a hobby, recording his adventures as he located cans of soda, cellphones and sunglasses while diving – something he saw as a chance to clean up the environment and find things that others had lost, with the hope of returning them. Leisek found his first submerged car, in Portland, Oregon, by accident. He was then contacted by a family in Warrenton, Missouri, and managed to find the car of Nate Ashby, 22, who vanished in July 2019. 

Leisek then paired up with Doug Bishop, who owned a towing company, to start pulling vehicles from the water for environmental purposes. They also used sonar equipment, which Bishop said separates their work from that of law enforcement.

 

Doug Bishop (left) joined Leisek in his endeavors, and has led the search for Rodni

Doug Bishop (left) joined Leisek in his endeavors, and has led the search for Rodni

Bishop told Fox that many police departments may have sonar equipment but may not understand all the technicalities that go along with it.  The 10-member group consists of divers and production crew, who film every search and rescue, posting videos on YouTube and other social media pages.

Their services are free for law enforcement and families. They now have 2.42 million subscribers on YouTube, and 1.3 million on Facebook: they are funded by donations, ads on social media, and merchandise sales. 

 

Bishop (left) and Leisek (right) are seen with their equipment, readying for a dive

Bishop (left) and Leisek (right) are seen with their equipment, readying for a dive

NOTABLE CASES: 

Missouri, December 2019 

Their first request was from the family of Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Ashby, who went missing in Warrenton, Missouri, in July 2019. The family found Leisek and Bishop on YouTube, and asked them to come and help. The group found Ashby’s Chevy Silverado in the Missouri River in December 2019.

Leisek told Missouri sheriffs it was probably the most difficult and dangerous operation he had conducted, due to the force of the Missouri River currents. He was also surprised at how quickly the conditions began to deteriorate while he was in the water: the river rose two feet during the nine-hour operation to remove the truck.

Oregon, May 2020

The group set out to recover a car from 80ft below the river in Portland. But they also came across another vehicle, a silver Mazda, which contained the remains of a man who had been missing for 12 years. Timothy Robinson, 56, disappeared in November 2008. 

Arkansas, October 2021

The group were dispatched to Russellville, Arkansas, to investigate a tip about the possible remains of a woman who disappeared with her daughter 23 years previously. Samantha Hopper was traveling in her blue Ford Tempo in September 1998 to drop off her daughter, Courtney Holt, before heading to a concert in Little Rock. The car with the pair’s remains was found in eight feet of water in the Illinois Bayou, off of Pleasant View Road. 

Texas, January 2022 

The group was sent a message, informing them about a missing person case that they felt Adventures with Purpose could help with. Leisek got in touch with Bianca Torres, whose mother, Stephanie, disappeared in Waco in December 2017.

The group began searching near the East Boat Launch of the Brazos Valley, and found the missing 43-year-old. Relatives said she was depressed and suicidal, due to the pain from Fibromyalgia.

Source: Dailymail

 

 

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