Kiely Rodni’s family is in mourning.

On Monday, authorities confirmed they believe the body and car found in the Prosser Creek Reservoir on Sunday by volunteer dive team, Adventures with Purpose, belonged to the missing teen, who vanished following a party in Truckee, California in the early morning hours of August 6. While the body has not been positively identified yet, cops revealed in a press conference it is “more than likely” the 16-year-old.

Now, for the first time since this devastating news made headlines, Kiely’s family is breaking their silence on the tragedy.

In a heartfelt statement written on their website on Monday evening, the Rodni-Nieman family began by expressing their gratitude to the legions of law enforcement officials and volunteers who rallied to support them in their search for the teen, saying:

“We are eternally grateful for the love and support you have shown us in the last couple of weeks. We have weathered a storm of unfathomable force, and it is purely thanks to the army of warriors, matriarchs, healers, and helpers holding us up that we continue to stand today. Mr. Rogers famously told a story of ‘looking for the helpers’ whenever he saw scary things in the news. We have not had to look for the helpers, as you have all come to our rescue in full force. We are forever indebted to you.”

Such a wonderful thing everyone has done for this family, whether by physically lending a helping hand or donating to their search efforts via their GoFundMe page, which is still active at this time. Without all of this assistance, they may never have received closure – and as tough as it may be, it is certainly better than forever wondering what happened to their loved one.

With that in mind, the family opened up about their loss and how they are choosing to remember their beloved daughter, who has been described as “charismatic” with a brilliant mind by friends, per Fox News. Addressing her passing, her family, including parents Daniel Rodni and Lindsey Rodni-Nieman (inset), expressed:

“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. Kiely will surely remain with us even though we will not get her back.”

Gone but never forgotten. The family now turns to art and music to help them heal from this tragedy, they concluded:

“There are certain occasions when words fail. Perhaps this is why our human nature has given us art, dance, and music, which all are often more effective ways to connect us to each other and our rawest emotions. Kindly excuse us as we retreat and dance privately to life’s song while we celebrate our daughter’s spirit and heal our souls.”

What a beautifully written message on the grief they are all now grappling with. The pain of losing someone, especially at such a young age and amid mysterious circumstances, is immense. We’re glad they can look back on the fond times they’ve shared with Kiely, but know even those memories are likely filled with so much pain these days.

At this time, an investigation is ongoing to determine (as best as possible) what led to this devastating loss. An autopsy was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, according to authorities, though toxicology results will take four to six weeks to come back.

Very little is known at this time, including whether or not foul play is suspected or if Kiely had been drinking and driving. As mentioned, she spent the night at a party in the woods. Her cell phone last pinged at 12:33 a.m. on August 6 near where her body and Honda SUV were ultimately found submerged under about 14 feet of water. According to officials, the water levels had likely dropped by at least three feet by the time Adventures with Purpose found her, over two weeks into the search.

The upcoming weeks are bound to be so challenging for the family as they grieve their loss and wait for more information about Kiely’s last moments. We’re sending them our love and healing vibes in this truly unimaginable time. R.I.P.

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