Body of missing college student Riley Strain found in Nashville

UPDATE (3/22/24): The body of Riley Strain, a University of Missouri student who went missing after he was asked to leave a Nashville bar, has been found, according to authorities.

The body was found approximately 8 miles from downtown Nashville. Police said no foul play-related trauma was observed.


NASHVILLE — The United Cajun Navy, a nonprofit organization based in Baton Rouge that gained notoriety during Hurricane Katrina and the 2016 flooding around Baton Rouge, has joined the search for missing college student Riley Strain.

Strain, a University of Missouri student, has been missing for nearly two weeks. The 22-year-old disappeared after being asked to leave a Nashville bar owned by country superstar Luke Bryan on March 8.

The college student is seen on surveillance video several times around downtown after being escorted out of the bar along. Nashville Police released video of him at an intersection along the Cumberland River and police body cam video showing Strain briefly pass by an officer investigating an unrelated car burglary. Both videos show Strain wearing a split color, black and tan button down shirt.

The officer who saw Strain said he “did not appear distressed”.

Strain was in Nashville to attend a spring formal with his fraternity, Delta Chi.

The search for Strain is concentrated along the banks of the Cumberland River, where his bank card was discovered on an embankment. According to police, his cell phone was last pinged in an area near the river.

The family reached out to the United Cajun Navy to assist in the search along the river. The group has deployed an airboat and hovercraft.

“Our main focus, obviously, is to find Riley,” said David Flagg, the national director of operations for the United Cajun Navy, during a Tuesday news conference. “Our secondary focus is to ensure the safety of the people who are out here searching. I would encourage any volunteers to please come under the umbrella of the United Cajun Navy search.”

The United Cajun Navy has announced that an organized ground search will take place later this week.

“We feel confident that Dave and his team, along with the volunteers, are very skilled and will help bring him home for us,” said Strain’s stepfather, Chris Whiteid, regarding the Cajun Navy search.

Nashville police stated on Monday that there is no evidence of foul play, and Strain’s parents met with detectives on Sunday.

This is a developing story. Check back often for new information.

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