Nashville Police say no signs of foul play as search for missing student Riley Strain continues

Riley Strain was visiting Nashville, Tennessee, on a fraternity trip and was separated from his friends after he was kicked out of a bar owned by country singer Luke Bryan

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Thursday 14 March 2024 20:55 GMT
CCTV released by police shows 22-year-old missing student Riley Strain crossing road

Police in Nashville say there are currently “no signs of foul play” amid the ongoing search for missing student Riley Strain.

On Thursday an urban search and rescue team continued to search along the brush line of the bank of the Cumberland River, checked storm drains and looked in dilapidated buildings.

However at a police conference later that afternoon – almost one week after the sophomore from the University of Missouri went missing – police said there was still no sign of the 22-year-old.

Metro Nashville Police Sergeant Bob Neilsen told reporters: “In a missing person’s case, people go missing for various reasons. Some are voluntary, some are not. Some could be due to a medical incident.

“Right now, we have no idea what happened with this gentleman. We don’t believe there was any crime involved, however. All of our resources right now are dedicated to locating him.”

Last Friday, the college student had been visiting Nashville, Tennessee, on a fraternity trip and was separated from his friends after he was kicked out of Bryan’s 32BRIDGE bar – which is owned by country singer Luke Bryan.

His friends tried contacting him, but received no answer. At 140pm the following day, they reported Mr Strain missing. Video footage collected by police showed the student walking around Nashville, and eventually wandering near the Cumberland River.

He has not been seen since. On Thursday detectives said they were investigating if the bar overserved Mr Strain, and if the establishment bears any responsibility for the student’s disappearance.

Mr Neilsen added there had been no evidence showing that Mr Strain got into a fight with anyone at the bar downtown or after he left that night.

“A lot of it now at this point is just filtering all of the information,” he said at the press conference.

“We’ve been getting just dozens of Crime Stoppers tips every day pretty much since this has started and so it takes time to go through all of those, scrutinise that information, make certain that there could be a viable lead.

“A lot of them, as you can imagine, is just frivolous information.”

Mr Strain’s parents came to Nashville after his friends informed them of his disappearance and have joined the search efforts.

“This is definitely the worst nightmare,” his stepfather, Chris Whiteild, told News 2.

“Riley talks to us, whether it’s me or to his mom. He talks to his mom three or four times a day. For him to go this long without talking is not normal by any means.”

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