What we know so far about the disappearance of Mizzou student Riley Strain

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University of Missouri student Riley Strain was out with his fraternity brothers in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday 8 March when he disappeared.

He’d been asked to leave a bar the Delta Chi group were hanging out in, shortly before 9.45pm, and said he was going back to their hotel.

He hasn’t been seen since.

Here is everything we know so far.

What happened to Riley Strain?

Riley Strain was last seen wearing this shirt while on a night out in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday 8 March 2024

(Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)

According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, 22-year-old Riley Strain was last seen on Friday 8 March.

They were at a bar in the Broadway area of the city: Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink, his family has said.

He was asked to leave the bar at around 9.45pm.

Riley’s friends called him and he said he was going to head back to their hotel.

The young man was then seen on CCTV footage wearing a two-tone shirt, crossing 1st Avenue North to Gay Street at 9:47 p.m.

That was the last time Riley was seen. He is 6-foot-5, weighs 160 pounds and has blue eyes and blonde hair.

On Thursday, family friend Chris Dingman said that the family had had confirmation from two seperate homeless encampments that Riley had been in the area.

“I was talking to family members currently in downtown Nashville searching, and we have found another homeless person that had acknowledged that Riley had been in that area,” Mr Dingman told WSMV4.

“This now makes two people that has done confirmation. These are areas that the camera had stops. We don’t have any footage. Basically, the areas where his phone quit pinging. We now do have visual confirmation from two homeless camps that Riley was in that area.”

On Thursday afternoon police said there was currently no signs of foul play in Riley’s disapearance, but that investigations by water and air would continue.

Riley Strain has visited Nashville before

Riley had been visiting Nashville from the University of Missouri, known as Mizzou, with his fraternity.

The Delta Chi group was on its annual spring trip, with the organisation saying on Monday that it was actively involved with university officials as part of the search.

CCTV released by police shows 22-year-old missing student Riley Strain crossing road

It was reported that Riley, a senior, had made the trip to Nashville before.

His mother and stepfather are from Springfield, Missouri, around 160 miles from the college campus in Columbia.

Who is looking for Riley?

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department says its officers have been out looking for Riley.

A MNPD helicopter searched the downtown area on Monday, “including the riverbank”, while detectives also searched on the ground.

Mizzou student Riley Strain, 22, was last seen on Friday 8 March 2024 in Nashville, TN

(Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)

When Riley disappeared, his friends said they spent hours looking for him, while his mother and stepfather have also joined the search in recent days.

On Wednesday night, boats searched the Cumberland River for Strain as detectives shifted their focus to reviewing security video. Riley’s phone was last tracked near Public Square Park along the Cumberland River.

“The sad part of this situation is every day we get new leads and go down different avenues,” Mr Dingman told WSMV4.

“We’re going to get there, but it also opens up more doors on what could’ve possibly happened.”

Riley’s parents have also come to Nashville to assist with search efforts.

“This is definitely the worst nightmare,” Strain’s 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.”

What has the University of Missouri said?

While not a college-organised trip, Mizzou officials have said that they are working with Nashville authorities and Riley’s family.

“The safety of our community is our highest priority,” Angela King Taylor, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with Riley’s family as the search continues. We will be offering any support to them that we can, and we encourage anyone who needs help to reach out to our counselling resources.”

Those resources are on offer at the college’s Wellness Resource Center and the Counseling Center within the Division of Student Affairs, as well as the Employee Assistance Program for faculty and staff.

Bar owner Luke Bryan speaks out

On Tuesday, country music star Luke Bryan, whose bar Riley had been at before his disappearance, spoke out.

“Y’all this is scary,” Bryan posted on his Instagram story. “Praying for his safe return.”

The singer, 47, said TC Restaurant Group, which operates and owns Luke’s 32 Bridge, is working closely with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on its investigation.

The bar was providing security footage and any other information which could help locate Riley.

The bar is located in the busy Broadway area in downtown Nashville and offers live music every night. It sits around two blocks from the Cumberland River and the spot where Riley was last seen.

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