New footage shows missing Riley Strain speaking to cop after leaving bar on night he disappeared

The 22-year-old vanished on 8 March after being kicked out of a bar and becoming separated from his friends

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 19 March 2024 15:06 GMT
Video shows Riley Strain interacting with a police officer after being kicked out of the bar

New footage has revealed that missing Missouri student Riley Strain interacted with a police officer on the night he disappeared.

The 22-year-old student vanished back on 8 March after he was kicked out of a bar in Nashville during a frat trip with friends.

Search efforts were launched to find him but, so far, police have found no trace of Mr Strain other than his bank card, which was found close to the Cumberland River over a week after he was last seen.

Now, 11 days on from his disappearance, police have revealed new details about the 22-year-old’s last known movements on the night he went missing.

New footage released by the Nashville Police Department shows a police officer who was responding to a vehicle burglary briefly interacting with Mr Strain on the night of 8 March.

In the footage, Mr Strain is seen briskly walking past an officer on a sidewalk adjacent to the Cumberland River on Gay Street at about 9.52 pm – minutes after he had been removed from the bar and so became separated from his group of friends.

The officer is heard asking the 22-year-old how he is doing, to which he replies: “I’m good, how are you?”

In a post on X, the police department said Mr Strain did not appear to be distressed during the encounter.

Missing student Riley Strain speaks with police on night he vanished, new video shows. (Metropolitan Nashville Police)

The footage show Mr Strain walking upright with nothing unusual about his demeanour.

Minutes later, separate surveillance footage – released last week by police – captured Mr Strain stumbling and falling over as he crossed the road and walked down Gay Street.

Following the release of the new footage, police spokesperson Don Aaron reiterated that there is no evidence of foul play in Mr Strain’s disappearance.

“To those who are saying that they believe he could have been in distress, that somebody could have been after him as he walked onto Gay Street, well, as you see in the video, he’s walking by himself on the river side and speaks to a police officer as the officer is looking at a vehicle that had been broken into,” Mr Aaron said.

He added that the investigation is ongoing and that no further footage of Mr Strain walking on Gay Street after 9.52pm has been obtained.

On the night of his disappearance, Mr Strain had been visiting Nashville with friends from his college fraternity, Delta Chi.

He was kicked out of Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink, a bar owned by country singer Luke Bryan in the city’s downtown, at about 9.35pm.

The bar said in a statement that he was removed by security “based on our conduct standards,” but did not provide further details about his behaviour. It added that Mr Strain was served only one alcoholic drink and two waters.

The student’s stepfather, Chris Whiteid, told NBC News that Mr Strain had gone to two other bars before arriving at Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink.

However, he cast doubt on theories that his stepson had been suffering from the effects of alcohol on the night he disappeared.

Riley Strain (AP)

He said that his stepson had FaceTimed his mother between 7.30pm and 8pm that night from Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk – a bar owned by country singer Garth Brooks a few buildings over from Luke’s 32 Bridge.

In the call, “he didn’t even sound like he had been drinking a lot,” he said.

He added that Mr Strain had also been texting his mother coherently in the hour or so after the call ended.

“I’ve done a fair amount of drinking in my life, and I still question whether it was alcohol or something else,” Mr Whiteid said, referring to how Mr Strain appeared to have lost control of his balance in the surveillance footage.

Mr Whiteid also claimed that since his stepson’s disappearance, he had received messages from up to ten people who claimed they were drugged while visiting bars in Nashville, according to NBC News.

Mr Strain’s stepfather added that he does believe his stepson was robbed since there are no new charges on any of his debit or credit cards.

However, the only account his family cannot access is the one associated with the bank card found on Sunday, he said.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in