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‘I See The Vehicle’: Video Shows Dramatic Moment Kiely Rodni’s SUV Was Found In Lake By Dive Team
Kiely Rodni, 16, was found in the backseat of the submerged silver SUV, where two of the windows had been at least partially rolled down, according to the chilling video.
New video released by Adventures with Purpose, the specialized dive team that located Kiely Rodni inside her submerged SUV last month, gives a close-up view of the dramatic moments surrounding the discovery and the surprising location where the body was found.
Rodni was found unbuckled in the backseat of the submerged vehicle, according to the 47-minute video released by the Oregon-based search team. Both windows of the 2013 Honda CR-V had been at least partially rolled down.
“She’s in the back of the vehicle,” diver Nick Rinn said just moments after returning to the surface of Prosser Lake after making the grim discovery. “She’s not in the driver’s seat. It looks suspicious to me.”
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement last month that the Nevada County-Sheriff Coroner positively identified the remains as belonging to Rodni, but did not release a cause of death.
Oxygen.com reached out to the sheriff’s office on Tuesday, but did not receive an immediate response.
Rodni disappeared in the early morning hours of Aug. 6 after leaving a party at the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee, California.
The teen’s disappearance sparked a massive search effort by law enforcement, but it was Adventures with Purpose who ultimately discovered the body in Prosser Reservoir on Aug. 21, using specialized sonar equipment.
Shortly after putting their boats into the water, Rinn’s team discovered what looked like a large shadow on the sonar readings and quickly radioed to Doug Bishop, another team member who had been searching the lake in a separate boat.
After quietly inspecting the area, Bishop concluded from above the surface that he believed it was likely a vehicle.
“We need to get suited up,” he said, before adding “We need to do this as quietly as possible.”
The team agreed that the “last thing we want to do is cause alarm” for the Rodni family or law enforcement until they were positively able to identity what was lurking just below the surface.
“If this is her, this means all hope is lost as far as her still being out there and her showing up, her being found safe,” Bishop said.
While Bishop stayed in the boat to direct the recovery effort from the surface, Rinn got into his scuba gear before diving into the lake to investigate.
“Confirm, confirm,” he said just seconds after descending, while an underwater camera captured his view. “I see the vehicle and the license’s plate. We have just found Kiely’s vehicle.”
The vehicle was discovered upside down about 14 feet below the surface.
Rinn moved to the driver’s side of the SUV and was initially unable to find Rodni until he swam to the backseat of the CR-V. He can be heard telling Bishop that he can “see a pair of shoes.”
“I have just confirmed there are human remain in the vehicle,” he said.
After returning to the surface, the dive team notified Rodni’s family and law enforcement authorities.
Her father, Daniel Rodni, is seen in the footage standing on the shore as he looked at the spot in the lake, about 55 feet off shore, where the vehicle was found.
“How in the f--- could they have missed it?” Daniel Rodni said of previous divers associated with law enforcement. “That’s f---ing impossible.”
“This is just what we do, we find vehicles underwater,” Bishop responded. “We specialize in it.”
Law enforcement authorities arrived a short time later and towed the vehicle from the lake.
Her family later released a statement thanking all those who had helped in the search effort to find their daughter.
“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 read, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “Kiely will surely remain with us even though we will not get her back.”
The Prosser County Sheriff’s Office has said the investigation into the death remains ongoing.