Riley Strain, a college student who went missing after leaving a Nashville bar, has been found dead, police say
Riley Strain, a college student who went missing after leaving a Nashville bar, has been found dead, police say


A missing Riley Strain poster is seen.


The body of a University of Missouri student who went missing after leaving a downtown Nashville bar two weeks ago was found Friday in the Cumberland River, police said. There were no signs of foul play.

Riley Strain, 22, was on a weekend trip to the Tennessee town when he was kicked out of the Lux 32 Bridge bar by country singer Luke Bryan on March 8, authorities said.

Strain’s friends and family have since been unable to contact him and police searches have been unsuccessful.

Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Strain’s body was found around 7:30 a.m. local time on Friday after it was spotted by a worker in the area.

“There is no other evidence to suggest anything other than” the young man falling into the river, Drake said.

The medical examiner’s office confirmed it was Strain, Drake said, adding that a shirt, watch and other “identifying factors” helped police make the identification. Drake said an autopsy is pending and has contacted Strain’s family.

Metro Nashville Police Department

Riley strain

The body was pulled from the river about 8 miles from downtown, police said.

Drake said police planned to search the area where the body was found Friday morning.

“We have reports that normally under these circumstances, with his height and weight, he would be able to surface between 14 and 20 days. It’s day 14, so we really expected to find it soon,” Drake said.

“So we were in the right place. It’s just a shame,” added the boss.

Strain was last seen March 8 at 9:52 p.m. on Gay Street after drinking downtown, according to the police department’s social media post.

“The bartender said he was over served,” Strain’s stepfather, Chris Whiteid, told CNN affiliate WZTV. “He was trying to pay his bill.”

Strain’s bank card was found on an embankment between Gay Street and the Cumberland River, Nashville police said said Sunday.

On Monday, the department released body camera video of an encounter Strain had with a police officer the night she disappeared.

The video shows Strain’s “brief exchange of greetings with Officer Reginald Young on Gay Street, south of the Woodland Street Bridge,” the department said.

“Riley didn’t seem worried. Officer Young was there on a vehicle burglary call and remained on that part of Gay Street for 45 minutes. No video was found showing Riley away from Gay Street after the 9:52 pm time frame,” according to the social media post.

Police previously released surveillance video showing Strain, wearing a two-tone shirt, crossing a street at 9:47 p.m. The area was searched on the ground and by helicopter.

Although Strain’s cell phone was turned off at the time police searched for it, Verizon Wireless said the phone’s last known location was less than a mile from a cell tower located at 19 Oldham Street, according to a police report. Police said they searched the area without success.

Brian said in an Instagram post last week that he is praying for Strain’s safe return.

Luke’s 32 Bridge told CNN in a statement that Strain was served one alcoholic drink and two waters during his time at the bar.

“At 9:38 p.m., our security team made the decision based on our standards of conduct to escort him from the venue through our Broadway exit to the front of our building,” the statement said, adding that Strain was followed down the stairs by a fellow party member who did not leave the bar and went back upstairs.

The Tennessee Alcohol and Beverage Commission said in a statement that it is investigating.

“There are no specific rules or laws governing escorting intoxicated visitors from their businesses or helping to get someone home,” Aaron Rummage, the committee’s director of legislation, policy and communications, said in the statement.

“However, state law prohibits serving alcoholic beverages to a person who is visibly intoxicated. The violation is a Class A misdemeanor. The TABC has opened an investigation into this matter to see if violations occurred.

Stamm was in Nashville for a private event, the University of Missouri said in a statement, adding that university officials are in contact with his family and Nashville authorities.

Strain’s stepfather had said the disappearance was the family’s worst nightmare.

“He talks to his mom three or four times a day,” he told WZTV. “It is by no means normal for him to go this long without speaking.”

“He’s my baby,” Strain’s mother, Michelle Whiteid, told the station.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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