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Kiely Rodni’s death has been ruled an accidental drowning after the coroner’s office concluded there had been no signs of foul play.
Rodni’s body was discovered submerged in her silver SUV in the Prosser Creek Reservoir on Aug. 21 by an Adventures with Purpose dive team, who had agreed to help the family search for the missing 16-year-old after she had disappeared two weeks earlier from a large graduation party.
"The Coroner’s Division of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has ruled the death of Kiely Mai Rodni as accidental," the sheriff's office said in a statement to Oxygen.com. "This ruling is based on the pathologist’s finding that her death was the result of drowning and that there was no other information to suggest she was the victim of foul play."
Rodni was last seen around midnight on Aug. 6 at a large end of the summer party before college at the Prosser Family Campground.
She had texted her mom shortly before disappearing saying that she planned to leave the party in the next 45 minutes and would come “straight home,” according to ABC News.
But when the teen never came home, her worried family reached out to law enforcement, who launched a massive search effort to find the teen, scouring the surrounding area by boat, aerial searches, four-wheelers and dirt bikes.
However, it was ultimately the team with Adventures with Purpose—a search and recovery team devoted to helping missing families find their loved ones—that would find the body using specialized sonar equipment.
The group later released video of their dramatic recovery effort that showed diver Nick Rinn discovering her silver 2013 CRV about 14 feet below the surface of the Prosser Creek Reservoir.
“I see the vehicle and the license’s plate. We have just found Kiely’s vehicle,” Rinn could be heard telling his team.
Rodni’s body was discovered in the back of the SUV, which initially had given the dive team concern.
“She’s in the back of the vehicle,” Rinn said shortly after returning to the surface. “She’s not in the driver’s seat. It looks suspicious to me.”
After further investigation, however, the coroner’s office has concluded that the death was an accidental drowning.
“As always, our office will continue to work with the family by evaluating any additional information related to this investigation,” the sheriff’s office said Thursday according to the statement.
Shortly after her body as found, Rodni’s family thanked the community for its “love and support.”
“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,” they said in a statement obtained by The San Francisco Chronicle. “Kiely will surely remain with us even though we will not get her back.”
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