It’s been more than 48 hours since Kylie Rodni disappeared.
Rodni, described as 5-foot-7 with blonde hair, hazel eyes, and weighing 118 pounds, departed from a party at the Prosser campground area in Truckee around 12:30 a.m. Aug. 6. She never made it home. Authorities are still working to establish whether Rodni left alone or with other individuals, but she was last seen driving her silver 2013 Honda CRV, license plate number 8YUR127.
On Sunday evening, Lindsey Neiman put out an impassioned plea on social media for people to come forward with information that could help find her 16-year-old daughter.
“We just want her home. We’re so scared and we miss her so much and love her so much. Kiely, if you see this … please just come home. I want nothing more than to hug you,” an emotional Rodni-Nieman said. “If anybody else out there, if you know where she is, if you know anything about where she might be, if you have any ideas or thoughts, please come forward and share them … We’re not looking to bust anybody else or get anybody in trouble, we just want to see our daughter home.”
Authorities scoured the immediate Prosser campground and surrounding area by land and air throughout the day on Aug. 6 but came up empty with no sign of Rodni or her vehicle. By Sunday afternoon, her disappearance was being investigated as an abduction due to the fact that her car has not been located, according to Placer County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Angela Musallam.
Musallam noted that the Placer County and Nevada County sheriff’s offices are working together in the investigation to combine needed resources and because Rodni is a resident of a Placer County. Musallam also confirmed that the FBI is now involved in the investigation and that aerial search efforts using helicopters are continuing. California Highway Patrol and Truckee Police are also assisting.
Scores of volunteers looking to help in whatever way they can came out to the Truckee Community Recreation Center Monday morning, where a search and information headquarters has been set up.
With reports of between 200 and 300 juveniles and young adults in attendance at the gathering from areas as far as Reno, Auburn, Incline Village, and South Lake Tahoe, concerned citizens seeking to help find Rodni broke into groups that will search throughout Truckee/North Tahoe and beyond, including places as far as Carson City and the Bay Area.
“Driving through back roads, streets, anywhere where you can drive or you think a car could go, that’s where we need to check in bushes on the sides of roads,” said Sami Smith, a close friend of Rodni’s who is spearheading search efforts. “There was a case a while ago, people weren’t found for three weeks and they were found dead because they had flipped off the highway, because they were in bushes, and nobody saw them. Please be looking everywhere that you can for her car.”
Rodni’s silver Honda CRV is not known to have any stickers or identifiable scratches or dents. Smith said Rodni carried a key chain that had on it a Zumiez brand metal reusable straw holder, described as a “small metal black cylinder that says ‘Zumiez’ on it.” Rodni’s cell phone, described as a black iPhone with a Sex Wax brand sticker on the back, is also missing. It has been out of service since the time she disappeared.
Smith cautioned searchers to be cognizant of items like car bumpers and license plates that may be spotted on the side of the road. Should such an item be spotted, the location and other information should be texted to Smith at (530) 414-4109. Should Rodni or her vehicle be spotted, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office should be contacted immediately. A tip line has been set up at (530) 581-6320, option 7. Callers can remain anonymous. A website with updates and other important contact information has been set up at findkiely.com. A $50,000 reward is now in place for information leading to Rodni being found.
“I can’t get it out of my head. That’s why I’m here, because you just feel like you want to do something, anything,” said Cindy Shippy, owner of Chá Fine Teas of Truckee, where Rodni works. “She’s a strong [young woman]. She really is. She’s a strong personality. And … my only hope is she’s somewhere where we’ve just got to find her, because she would be tough wherever she is … She was the girl that all of her friends came to for strength and I’m sure her friends are completely devastated.”
Although social media posts advertising the search event at the Truckee recreation center said to arrive between 10 and 11 this morning, there will be people throughout the day and into the night. Anyone seeking to volunteer, whether it’s by going out and physically search for Rodni or by posting and distributing informational flyers or any other manner of assisting, should stop by at any time. The team is also in need of items like a mobile hotspot, pens, paper, clipboards, phone chargers, and mobile batteries, in addition to more flyers and tools to post flyers such as a hammer, staplers, and tape.
“I think if anybody wants to donate some waters in snacks and things that can keep us in a place where we’re staying hydrated and fed, that’s beautiful,” said Cassie Hebel, who was helping to organize the search effort.
Truckee mom April Cole came by the tent to offer her assistance in obtaining food and beverages for the volunteers. She’s got a son the same age as Rodni but who was not in attendance at the party.
“He wasn’t [there] but he woke up in the morning and he was like, ‘Oh my God, this party was crazy. And there’s a girl missing.’ And I just … it felt so close to home,” Cole said.
As a customer of Chá Fine Teas, she’s gotten to know Rodni’s smiling face behind the counter and felt a pull to come assist in the search effort.
“It just felt like … use all of your resources that you can [make] available to help, because that’s what I would want for anybody in our community,” Cole said. “So that’s why I’m here. What can we do?”
Search organizer Smith is welcoming any and all volunteers but noted that there is one strict requirement before heading out to search for her dear friend: All volunteers must register at the trailer located in the parking lot to the right of the Truckee Community Recreation Center on Truckee Way. The is a mandatory requirement to ensure the integrity of anyone seeking to claim the posted $50,000 reward for information leading to the location of Rodni. It is also requested that volunteers wear white T-shirts so that they are more easily identifiable to law enforcement officers who also may be out searching.