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Missing Riley Strain’s family pleads for answers as final text message and new footage revealed: Live

Related video: Search continues for missing University of Missouri student

The family of Riley Strain, the University of Missouri student who vanished without a trace on a night out in Nashville, has called in the United Cajun Navy to assist in their search.

Dave Flagg, who runs the organisation, said a hovercraft was coming to assist, and that he was bringing in as many volunteers as he could to assist the ground operation.

The 22-year-old was partying with his fraternity brothers in Nashville on the night of 8 March when he was kicked out of a bar.

Now, newly-released video shows that Mr Strain spoke briefly to a police officer minutes after leaving the bar. Nashville Metro Police said that the student did not appear distressed during the encounter.

Mr Strain’s family friend has also revealed the last known communication the student had that night – a text message to a girl that he was seeing.

“She texted him to see how he was doing and if he was having fun. He sent kind of a scripted text back to her saying ‘Good lops,’” Chris Dingman told NewsNation.

Police have been searching the area around downtown Nashville, including a river bank where his bank card was found this weekend.

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Missouri student Riley Strain’s disappearance: A timeline

The following is a timeline of the disappearance of Riley Strain.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 19:44

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Riley Strain’s family defends police response

During a press conference on Tuesday, Riley Strain’s family defended the Metropolitan Nasvhille Police Department after some social media users following the case began questioning the department’s efficacy.

“We feel like [the police] have handled the search well … It’s hard as a parent, 11 or 12 days into this. As the days drag on we are frustrated, but we know they’re doing their job, we see what they’ve got,” Chris Whiteid, Mr Strain’s stepfather, said.

The national director for the United Cajun Navy, David Flagg, also defended the police, calling speculation on social media “just that — speculation.”

The United Cajun Navy is assisting the family and will be coordinating the volunteer search effort.

MNPD detective Anthony Chandler and Sargent Robert Nielsen also spoke during the presser. When asked about the TikTokers who found Mr Strain’s bank card near a river bank, he praised the women who located the card but noted that during a missing person’s case the police are typically looking for a body or for a person, and that smaller pieces of physical evidence are secondary in priority until the person or body is located.

The police officers also said they were following up on numerous “actionable leads” and that the MNPD has been receiving a steady “influx” of information from people who believe they have information to offer.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 19:14

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Riley Strain’s family asks the Cajun Navy to assist with the search and organise the volunteer effort

Riley Strain’s family held a press conference today in Nashville to provide updates on the search for the missing University of Missouri student.

The family is asking the Cajun Navy to assist in the search for Mr Strain.

The Cajun Navy is a natural disaster response organisation formed during Hurricane Katrina. The group also helps provide supplies to disaster stricken areas and assists with missing persons cases and search and rescue operations.

“Our goal is still to bring Riley home,” he said.

Dave Flagg, national director of operations for United Cajun Navy, said Mr Strain’s family has asked for the Cajun Navy to assist the search efforts.

Mr Flagg said the Cajun Navy has been involved since earliest days of the search, but said it would increase its efforts to help try to find Mr Strain.

He said a hovercraft was being brought in, and that it would be on the river today or early tomorrow, and added that an airboat that has already been searching the river would continue its search.

Mr Flagg said his people would both be searching for Mr Strain and organising the volunteer portion of the search to ensure searchers are safe. He asked individual volunteers to “come under the umbrella” of the Cajun Navy search.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 18:09

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

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.

Here is everything we know so far.

What happened to Riley Strain?

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 17:54

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Questions about police response

After the discovery of Riley Strain’s bank card on Sunday by a pair of TikTokers searching the Cumberland Riverbank, there has been some question as to the efficacy of the police response to Mr Strain’s disappearance.

Metropolitan Nashville Police have been searching the Cumberland River with sonar-equipped boats, a drone, helicopters, and have searched the surrounding areas for Mr Strain.

However, friends of Mr Strain have questioned certain decisions the police have made, according to a report by FOX Nashville.

Chris Dingman, one of Mr Strain’s friends assisting in the search, questioned why a detective was not assigned to Mr Strain’s case until two days after he was reported missing.

“I wish something would have been done sooner The first 48 is so crucial,” Mr Dingman said.

The owners of shops near where Mr Strain stumbled into a pole — which was caught on surveillance video — have also reportedly not been questioned.

“People that owned the businesses were not talked to. That unfortunately is what’s going on in this situation,” one of the owners told FOX Nashville.

Mr Dingman also expressed frustration that it was amateur sleuths, and not the police, who managed to locate Mr Strain’s bank card near the river. He believes that police have jumped the gun on concluding that no crime had been committed.

“It blows our mind that the card that was found yesterday evidence that there was a crime and we’re being told that may not be what it takes to reclassify this from a missing person’s [case],” Mr Dingman said. “And that is very frustrating.”

Nashville police said they have briefed the family on the latest in their investigation.

“No evidence of foul play has surfaced as work continues to locate Riley Strain. On Sunday evening, Riley’s parents met with some of the detective team and received a full briefing on the work being done. They were also shown available video,” the department told FOX Nashville.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 17:24

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

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.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 15:35

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Confusing last text message sent by missing student Riley Strain revealed: ‘Good lops’

Missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain’s last text message before his disappearance has been revealed.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 14:33

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‘No foul play’

Riley Strain was last seen on 8 March after being asked to leave a bar in Nashville while on a trip with his fraternity.

On the afternoon of 14 March, police said there was currently no signs of foul play in Riley’s disapearance, but that investigations by water and air would continue.

Metro Nashville Police Sgt Bob Neilsen said, “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,” the police sergeant added.

Although the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission announced on 13 March that it was investigating whether Mr Strain had been overserved at the bar, on 15 March, the bar owners revealed that the college senior had been served just one drink and two waters before being escorted out.

“No members of Riley’s party were required to stay inside the venue to close any open tabs, and no one from Luke’s 32 Bridge team prevented anyone from Riley’s party from leaving the venue with him,” the owners said in a statement.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 14:00

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New footage shows Riley Strain interacted with police officer after being kicked out of bar

New footage has emerged capturing some of the last known movements of Riley Strain before the University of Missouri student vanished without a trace on a night out in Nashville.

The 22-year-old was partying with his fraternity brothers in Nashville on the night of 8 March when he was kicked out of a bar.

He said he was returning to his hotel but his friends later discovered him missing – kicking off a week-long search for the college student.

Now, newly-released video shows that Mr Strain spoke briefly to a police officer minutes after leaving the bar.

Nashville Metro Police said that the student did not appear distressed during the encounter.

Rachel Sharp19 March 2024 13:30

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ICYMI: What happened to Riley Strain?

Riley Strain, 22, was last seen on Friday night as he left Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink in Nashville’s Broadway area.

The senior’s stepfather said in an interview on Monday that the days since Riley’s disappearance had been “pure hell”.

His family has travelled to the city and been walking the streets looking for the young man who called his frat brothers after leaving the bar, saying he was going back to their hotel.

Riley’s friends tried to call him repeatedly after that on Friday night and on Saturday morning, but the calls kept going to voicemail.

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department released video footage on Tuesday, showing Riley wearing a two-tone shirt, crossing 1st Avenue North to Gay Street at around 9.45pm on Friday. That spot is just over half a mile from the bar.

Investigators are asking anyone who could help locate the 6’5” tall man with a thin build, blue eyes and light brown hair to come forward.

The department said on Monday that it had searched the downtown area where Riley was last seen, including the riverbank, but “to no avail”.

Graig Graziosi19 March 2024 13:00


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