Missouri student Riley Strain’s disappearance: A timeline

Riley Strain, a University of Missouri senior, disappeared in Nashville one week ago.

The student was visiting the city for his fraternity’s spring formal trip and was reportedly kicked out of country singer Luke Bryan’s 32BRIDGEbar just before 10pm on 8 March.

His friends attempted to find him after he left the bar, but by 1.40am, found no trace of him. They then called the police to report him missing.

Mizzou student Riley Strain has been missing since 8 March


Since then, police have led a search of the surrounding region – including the waters and banks of the nearby Cumberland River – in hopes of finding the missing student.

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

8 March: Mr Strain, a native of Springfield, Missouri, and his friends were in Nashville and visited 32BRIDGE, a bar owned by country music star Luke Bryan. Sometime between 9.30pm and 9.50pm, Mr Strain was escorted from the bar. His stepfather, Chris Whiteid, alleges that Mr Strain was overserved. The bar later says he was removed based on “our conduct standards,” and reveals that he was only served a single alcoholic drink and two waters.

Earlier that night, Mr Strain had a video call with his mother and told her he had visited two other bars before visiting 32BRIDGE.

After Mr Strain left the bar, he spoke with his friends on the phone and told them he would meet them at the Tempo Hotel, where the group was staying. However, security footage from 9.45pm shows him walking in the opposite direction of the hotel. In the footage, he appears to be stumbling and holding his head.

At some point, Mr Strain was spotted by a police officer. The moment was caught on bodycam footage, which the Metro Nashville Police released on 18 March. In the footage, the officer greeted Mr Strain and asked him how he was doing. Mr Strain said he was fine and continued walking.

He was caught by another security camera, near Gay Street, two minutes after he was first caught on surveillance video. It is the last video footage to capture images of Mr Strain before his disappearance.

Life360, a location-sharing app Mr Strain had installed on his phone, tracked him to a few blocks north of Gay Street and James Robertson Parkway, near the Cumberland River, around 9.53pm. His route continued to take him further away from his hotel.

Between 10 and 10.30pm, Mr Strain’s phone pinged near Public Square Park, which is located near the Cumberland River, according to FOX17. This is the last signal sent from his phone.

9 March: Mr Strain’s friends learn he did not make it back to the hotel, and begin searching for him. At 1.46pm, they report Mr Strain missing.

10 March – 11 March: Police search for Mr Strain. Officers told local news outlets that they started by checking local hospitals and jails to see if Mr Strain was picked up by police or had been injured and transported for medical treatment.

Their searches failed to turn up any information on Mr Strain’s whereabouts.

12 March: Police began to search the Cumberland River for any sign of Mr Strain. Surveillance footage showed he was near the river before his phone died.

A Metropolitan Nashville Police Department helicopter, a drone, and boats with sonar devices were used to search the waters and the banks of the river for Mr Strain. The search did not yield any new information.

Luke Bryan, the owner of 32BRIDGE, acknowledged Mr Strain’s disappearance in an Instagram post.

“Y’all this is scary. Praying for his safe return,” he wrote, noting that the restaurant group that operates the bar is working with police.

13 March: The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission announced it is investigating whether or not Mr Strain had been served alcohol while visibly intoxicated at 32BRIDGE.

A vigil was held for Mr Strain in Springfield, Missouri.

14 March: Police continued to search the river for Mr Strain.

During a 2pm press conference, police revealed that homeless residents at two encampments near the Cumberland River confirmed that they saw Mr Strain on the night he disappeared. They were unsure as to where he went after they spotted him.

Police also stated on Thursday that there was no indication of any kind of foul play or criminal activity tied to Mr Strain’s disappearance.

Search crews continued to look for Mr Strain in and around the Cumberland River.

17 March: A pair of TikTokers searching for Mr Strain found his bank card among brush and garbage on the bank of the Cumberland River. Police determined that no purchases were made on the card after Mr Strain went missing.

A body was discovered floating in the Cumberland River. However, police determined the body did not match Mr Strain’s description, and the search continued.

18 March: Nashville police released body camera footage showing an interaction between Mr Strain and a police officer on the night of his disappearance. The officer asks Mr Strain how he was doing, and Mr Strain replies that he is fine before continuing to walk down the street. The interaction occurred on Gay Street just minutes after he was removed from 32BRIDGE. In the footage, Mr Strain appears to be fine and not in distress, though later surveillance footage shows him stumbling and holding his head.

19 March: Mr Strain’s friend, Chris Dingman, told NewsNation that the final text sent from his phone before his disappearance was a reply to a woman he’d been speaking with. She asked him how he was doing and if he was having fun, to which he reportedly replied “Good lops.” It’s unclear what the text meant.

Mr Strain’s family held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon announcing that the United Cajun Navy would be coordinating the volunteer search effort. Dave Flagg, who runs the disaster relief organisation, said it was bringing a hoverboat to assist and more volunteers for the ground search.

Nashville police were also present at the presser and said they had received an influx of information, some of which is actionable, that they plan to follow up on.

Both the family and the police said their primary priority is finding Mr Strain.

20 March: Members of the Cajun Navy continued to search the Cumberland River for any sign of Mr Strain.

Police focussed their search for Mr Strain at the Cheatham Lock and Dam near Ashland City. The dam’s operations are temporarily suspended to allow law enforcement to search the area where the dam empties into Cheatham Lake.

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