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Friend of missing teen Kiely Rodni recounts final call before feared abduction from California camp party

Samantha Smith, 18, tells The Independent she was the last person to speak with Kiely after midnight on Saturday

Andrea Blanco
Monday 08 August 2022 20:22 BST
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A friend of missing teen Kiely Rodni has spoken about the pair’s final phone call before her friend vanished from a campground party in California.

Samantha Smith, 18, tells The Independent she was the last person to speak with 16-year-old Kiely after midnight on Saturday.

“At 12.36am she called me … and this is the last call anybody had with her. We said ‘love you, good night. Get home safe,’  and that’s the last thing we heard of her,” Samantha said on Monday.

Kiely was at a party with more than 100 teenagers and young adults at the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said. Because her vehicle, a silver 2013 Honda CRV, is missing, authorities are treating the incident as a possible abduction.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told The Independent on Monday that the department could not confirm whether Samantha was the last person to speak Kiely, but said that shortly after midnight her phone was turned off.

Samantha said that she arrived at the bonfire party around 9pm on Friday and Kiely got there about an hour later.

“We have been close friends since before, so we ended up meeting up with each other, sort of screaming to each other ‘Hi!’ For the rest of the party we pretty much stuck to each other,” Samantha told The Independent.

Kiely Rodni (PCOS/Facebook)

But as the gathering grew bigger, the teenagers went separate ways while continuing to see each other sporadically throughout the party.

“I knew it was a big party but it was supposed to be just the community …The party started to grow past the [number] of people that were supposed to be there,” Samantha said.

“There were college kids and people from the Bay area coming and I got a bad feeling about it but  didn’t really think much of it.”

Samantha said that around 11pm, they went to Kiely’s car to charge their phones and arranged for Kiely to give her a ride home. However, she changed her mind later when she saw that Kiely was clearly intoxicated, Samantha said.

“Right now we believe that it is an abduction case ... she was in no state to drive and she wouldn’t have made it far or would have crashed,” Samantha said.

The teenagers said goodbye to each other around 12.25am but Kiely called Samantha while she was riding home with a friend. That was the last known call Kiely made, Samantha claimed.

Kiely was supposed to meet friends on Saturday morning to go on a hike but did not show up. Police have since launched search efforts on the ground and in the air in hopes of locating the teen.

Kiely is described as white, 5’7” tall, and 115 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She has numerous piercings and jewelry, including a nose ring, and was last seen wearing green Dickies pants and a black tank top.

(PCOS)

She was described by her friend as someone who enjoys singing and meeting new people.

“She is a great singer, and she loves to go out to do things that are adventurous. She loves going on road trips,” Samantha said.

Another community search was scheduled on Monday from 10am to 11am PDT, at the Truckee Recreation Center to form search parties and hand out more flyers.

“We are trying to put out more flyers and send people in little groups up and around the neighborhoods to see if they can spot her car or parts of her car,” Samantha told The Independent.

The Placer Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the case is being investigated as an abduction, and pleaded with teenagers who attended the party to come forward with any information about what happened.

A $50,000 reward is being offered for leads that help find Kiely. Friends of the teenager have also started a GoFundMe to increase the reward. More than $6,000 has been raised as of midday Monday.

“We’re not interested in [investigating teenage drinking], we’re only looking to find Kiely,” public information officer Angela Musullam told The Independent.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Stephanie Frykberg at (530) 392-5609 or call the anonymous tip line at (530) 581-6320.

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