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Riley Strain’s body found in Nashville river, police say

Riley Strain's body found in Nashville river, police say
University of Missouri student Riley Strain’s body has been found in the Cumberland River Friday morning, the Metropolitan Nashville Police announced.

“The body of Riley Strain was recovered from the Cumberland River in West Nashville this morning, approximately 8 miles from downtown,” the department wrote on X. “No foul play-related trauma was observed. An autopsy is pending.”

Police received a call around 7:28 a.m. from a worker at a nearby business who discovered Strain’s body after removing an object from the river, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during a press conference shortly after the discovery.

The city fire department then removed the body from the water and the medical examiner’s office later confirmed the identity. Strain still had his shirt and other identified objects on his body, according to Drake.

His family has been notified.

“I want to say to the family, my heart and prayers go out to you all for this very unfortunate and tragic incident,” Drake said. “I also want to say thank you to the Nashville community and the outpouring community of the outpouring support from the community in trying to help us locate Mr. Strain.”

Given Strain’s height and weight, police were expecting his body to surface between 14 and 20 days if it was in the Cumberland River.

“This is the 14th day so we were really expecting anytime soon to find him,” Drake said.

Strain went missing on March 8 after being asked to leave Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink in downtown Nashville while on a trip with Delta Chi fraternity for spring formal.

Riley Strain (Chris and Michelle Whiteid)
Riley Strain (Chris and Michelle Whiteid)

The 22-year-old told his friends he would return to his hotel, stepfather Chris Whiteid told NBC News affiliate WSMV. Whiteid said in an interview on “Top Story with Tom Llamas” that Strain never made it back to the hotel.

Luke’s 32 Bridge + Drink said in a statement on March 15 that Strain was served one alcoholic drink and two waters before being escorted out by security around 9:35 p.m. “based on our conduct standards,” but did not elaborate further.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has been using boats with sonar capabilities and drones to search for Strain in the city’s Cumberland River. His bank card was found between Gay Street and the river on March 17.

In security video released by police on March 12, Strain appears to sway and do a full 360-degree turn before continuing to walk while crossing 1st Avenue North to Gay Street at 9:47 p.m.

Other security cameras captured Strain stumbling at times and falling in one instance after leaving the bar.

Strain was last seen on video around 9:52 p.m., briefly interacting with an officer who was responding to a vehicle burglary on a sidewalk adjacent to the Cumberland River on Gay Street.

In the video released on March 19, Strain appears to be walking normally as the officer asks how he is doing, to which Strain replies, “I’m good, how are you?”

No evidence of foul play has surfaced during the investigation, according to the Nashville police.

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