Truckee, California – Several partygoers who were with Kelly Rodney on the night of her disappearance are refusing to cooperate with investigators – because they fear they will be charged with “unlawful activity” and then be expelled from college, California authorities said.
“People are not talking to us,” Angela Muslim, public information officer for the Placer County Police Office, told The Post on Thursday, adding that while some have come forward, many are staying silent.
Kelly, 16, disappeared 13 days ago after attending a party near the Prosser Family campground in Truckee, California, on August 6.
“A lot of the party members might be in college or about to start college and are afraid they’ll ruin their future if they say something,” Muslim said.
“Just tell us what you know. Her family has suffered enough.”
Police have pictures of Kiely at the party, but despite an estimated 200 to 300 people attending, none of those present came forward saying they saw Kiely leave. Muslim said that few of the corridors leading to the party site had cameras.
The department received hundreds of tips but had few leads after about two weeks. Police announced over the weekend that they had scaled back their search for Kelly after she spent hundreds of hours scouring the area.
The authorities have repeatedly told members of the community that they will turn a blind eye to illegal acts in order to find the teenager.
“While we do not condone this illegal activity, for the purposes of this research and investigation, this is not our priority. We do not want to take attendees to prison for drug use or drinking alcohol – we want to find Kelly,” stressing that the cops will keep tipping anonymous.
She thinks kids with tight lips might know where Kelly went after the party. The 16-year-old has not been seen since, and authorities are still unable to find the silver Honda CRV that drove her to meet.
“We ask people who know something, do you want this to affect your conscience?” Muslim said. “You’ll have to live for the rest of your life knowing that the family will have no closure about where their daughter is.”
The sheriff’s office is also investigating online reports that they were older men at the party, and may have been distributing drugs.
“I can’t talk about how many older men were at the party,” Muslim said. “But I can say that the majority of those present were minors and youths.
On Wednesday, there were 91 investigators and investigators in the case. Thursday’s numbers are expected to be similar.
The focus is on attendees knocking on doors to gather more information on how Kelly left the party. The police have not yet settled on a theory about how Kelly disappeared.
“All scenarios are still on the table, because we don’t know what happened to Kelly,” Muslim said.
Volunteers — from high school students to ski and soccer patrol moms — search on foot, dirt bike or pickup truck and register their search on the CalTopo backcountry mapping tool.
One of them is Lisa Petrucci, 58, of nearby Sierraville, California, about 25 miles north of Truckee.
“We are mountain people. We found people here… so we thought we would find her in a reasonable amount of time or at least we would have her car back now,” said the mother.
It’s not uncommon for skiers and hikers to disappear into the Sierra Nevada mountains near Truckee and locals practice to find them.
While Petrucci and the rest of the volunteer researchers are ostensibly optimistic that Kelly will be in attendance, they are becoming increasingly concerned about why she hasn’t been found yet.
All Petrucci’s children went to Forest Charter School, from which Kelly recently graduated, and the annual graduation party near Prosser Family Campground is a long tradition.
“Every year they have this party,” Petrucci said. “My daughter graduated last year and she did. Kids from other cities nearby come to the party.
“They get together and have a good time before they go to college.”