Kiely Rodni in black dress

‘We believe it is our missing person’: Police Say Body Found Inside Submerged Car is Likely Missing California Girl, Kiely Rodni

California authorities continue to investigate whether a body found in a car submerged in a California lake is that of Kiely Rodni, a teen who disappeared earlier this month.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, officials pulled a vehicle out of Prosser Creek Reservoir on Sunday, as darkness fell over the area where 16-year-old Kiely disappeared on August 5. Kiely had been at a graduation party with hundreds of other people at Prosser Family Campground when she vanished.

Shortly after midnight on August 6, Kiely texted her mother to say she was headed home, and a few minutes later called a friend. She was not seen or heard from again, prompting an intensive, multi-agency search of the area.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the discovery of the car and a body on Sunday. During a Monday afternoon press conference, they added that although they don’t have official confirmation on the identity of the body, they believe it’s Kiely. There was only one body found inside the vehicle, police said.

“We recovered the vehicle last night,” Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon said.

“We have located a decedent inside the vehicle. We believe it is our missing person. We have not been able to positively identify, but it’s more than likely.”

Police added that the case is still an active investigation and are “harnessing all resources” to determine what happened and why. The FBI will be assisting in the process.

As the sun set over the reservoir Sunday, a KCRA helicopter captured the slow process of removing the vehicle from the water. When it reached the shore, investigators quickly covered it with tarps before pulling it the rest of the way onto a flatbed tow truck and driving away.

Divers with Adventures with Purpose, which is an “underwater sonar search and recovery dive team helping families locate missing loved ones underwater,” found the vehicle Saturday while using divers and sonar.

The team scoured nearby Donner Lake and other smaller bodies of water on what would have been Kiely’s route home that night, then began a search of Prosser Creek Reservoir on Sunday.

At 2:30 p.m., the team posted that it had found the car with Rodni’s body inside.

Police said they are appreciative of the search organization for their assistance, adding that they’re also appreciative of volunteers who previously swam in waters while trying to find the teen.

According to the California Highway Patrol, there are “a lot of factors” in the case that could take anywhere from “several days to several weeks” to get through.

A cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

A toxicology test will also be performed, but the results could take up to four to six weeks, police said.

Check back for updates.

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[Featured image: Family Handout]