The boyfriend of Kiely Rodni has broken his silence to reveal the last conversation he had with her before she vanished without a trace at a campground party – as the search for the missing teenager enters its fifth day.
Jagger Westfall texted his 16-year-old girlfriend to tell her to “be safe” and “don’t do anything stupid” on Friday night (5 August) as she headed to a senior farewell party at the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee, California.
“And so I was just like, OK. Be safe. Don’t like, do anything stupid,” he told KTXL.
Mr Westfall also confided in Kiely about his day, receiving a final message from her at around 10.30pm where she empathised with what he had gone through.
“Then at 10.30, she responded to what I was saying, and just said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry that you’re going through that’,” he said. “And that was the last time I heard from her.”
Five days later, the teenager’s whereabouts are still unknown with her loved ones growing increasingly concerned for her safety.
Mr Westfall said that both he and Kiely’s father had taught her to “to get out of sticky situations” and insisted that he believes she is “alive and well”.
“Her dad taught her a lot of stuff about like self defence, things like that,” he said.
“I taught her how to get out of sticky situations. I know that she’s smart. She wouldn’t do something that would definitely put her life at risk.
“I really need her back. I really just need to know that she’s safe, that’s all I need at this point, I really want to hug her again.”
He added: “I definitely feel like that in this current situation that she’s safe.
“I don’t know where she is. We don’t have anything to go off of at this point. But, I fully believe that she’s alive and well.”
Kiely was last seen at around 12.30am on Saturday morning (6 August) near the Prosser Family Campground, where officials said around 200 to 300 teenagers had gathered for a party in the woods.
Her friend Samantha Smith, 18, previously told The Independent that she was the last person to speak to the teen in a phone call at 12.36am.
Kiely’s phone was turned off shortly after midnight, said Placer County Sheriff’s office.
Earlier in the night, the two friends had arranged for Kiely to give Ms Smith a ride home from the party.
However, later Ms Smith said Kiely had been drinking and so wouldn’t have been able to drive.
They then spoke on the phone and told each other to get home safe.
“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,” Ms Smith said on Monday.
That was the last known contact Kiely had with anyone.
“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,” she said.
While the party began as a large gathering for around 100 teenagers, Ms Smith also told The US Sun that “a lot of college people” and “sketchy, older guys” turned up at the party.
Law enforcement officials are now urging all teenagers who attended the party to come forward with any information no matter how big or small, holding teen-to-teen meetings in Tahoe throughout the week.
Another teen-to-teen meet up will be held at the local high school Incline Village High School at 5pm local time on Thursday.
“We’re not interested in [investigating teenage drinking], we’re only looking to find Kiely,” public information officer Angela Musullam told The Independent on Monday.
Authorities are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of leads in the investigation, which they are treating as a possible abduction because Kiely’s car is also missing.
Josh Barnhart of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office admitted in a press conference on Wednesday that they were no closer to finding out what had happened to the teenager.
“We do not have any new leads, and that I can tell you is very frustrating for us,” he said.
Nevada County Sheriff’s Office captain Sam Brown said investigators believe “that someone knows” what happened to the 16-year-old and issued a fresh appeal for people to come forward.
“Someone saw her but they’re not coming forward,” he said.
On Wednesday, investigators released two new photos to the public: one of Kiely’s missing silver 2013 Honda CRV and one of a hoodie she is believed to have borrowed at the party.
The black hoodie features the eerie Lana del Ray lyrics: “You don’t want to be forgotten. You want to disappear.”
“We don’t know whether Kiely was wearing that hoodie when she disappeared, but we believe it was still in her possession,” the sheriff’s office said.
A photo of Kiely taken hours before her disappearance was also circulated as officials seek photos and videos of her last known movements.
The picture, captured by a surveillance camera at a Truckee business about six hours before her disappearance, shows the teenager in a black spaghetti strap bodysuit, green Dickies pants with a black grommet belt, and black Vans.
A huge search is continuing around the campground where she was last seen, with dive teams, cadaver dogs and multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI and DHS all drafted in to hunt for the missing teen.
However, Mr Westfall and two of Kiely’s friends believe the 16-year-old is no longer in the area of Truckee but could have gone to Reno – a city just across the California border into Nevada.
They carried out their own search there on Wednesday in the spots they frequented with Mr Westfall saying that they “fully believe that the two of us, three of us or other people are gonna bring her home safe”.
Mr Westfall said that the young couple would often go there to hang out together.
Friend Kate Cuno told KTXL that she had gone to Reno with Kiely and some other friends to have some fun one day before the doomed party.
She then saw her friend again on Friday afternoon, when they made creme brulee together.
“Everything was normal. I don’t think she ran away or anything,” she said.
Ms Cuno described her friend as “strong” and “an amazing person” who wouldn’t put herself in danger.
“She’s not dumb. She’s not going to do something that she knows is going to put her life in danger,” she said.
An investigation was launched by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday morning when she failed to show up for a hike with friends and her loved ones couldn’t get in contact with her.
A $50,000 reward is being offered for information and the teen’s friends have also launched GoFundMe to help in the search.
Anyone with information is asked to email Sheriff_TahoeInvest@placer.ca.gov, contact Detective Stephanie Frykberg at (530) 392-5609, or call the anonymous tip line at (530) 581-6320.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies