Family Of Riley Strain Holds Press Conference, Gives Update On Search

via Fox 17 News Nashville

The family of the missing 22-year-old, Riley Strain, gives a live press conference from Nashville, TN.

Today (March 19) Chris and Michelle Whiteid, the parents of missing Mizzou student Riley Strain, held a press conference alongside representatives from both Metro Nashville Police and the United Cajun Navy, who have been working together to locate the young man. The update was streamed live from Public Square Park in downtown Nashville, near the last known location of Strain.

Riley Strain was reported missing on Saturday, March 9th, after being kicked out of Luke Bryan’s bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge, the night before. At the time, he told friends he would go back to the hotel, but never arrived, and has not been seen or heard from since.

Riley Strain’s family confirms that they have seen the security footage from inside the bar.

Throughout the investigation, surveillance footage from nearby businesses has been a key component in retracing Strain’s steps after he left Broadway. Various cameras reveal that Strain followed 3rd Avenue away from Broadway, turned down Church Street, and then followed Gay Street along the edge of the Cumberland River. It is in this area that Strain’s cell phone was last pinged.

So far, the security footage from inside Luke’s 32 Bridge has not been shared publicly.

During the press conference today, the family confirmed that they had seen the footage. They revealed that all that was shown was Riley and his friend coming down the stairs from the second floor of the bar as he is being escorted out, and then the friend returning upstairs.

Riley Strain’s parents say they are not giving up hope.

Chris Whiteid, the stepfather of Riley Strain, emphasized that the main goal is “still to bring Riley home,” and that they are holding onto hope that it is possible. He expressed immense gratitude for all of the efforts put forth so far, and asked that people continue. He said through tears:

“We appreciate, more than you’ll ever know, the outpouring that we have received.”

He also shared that they are looking for additional resources so they can continue the search effort in an organized fashion. He emphasized that safety is the top priority.

The United Cajun Navy will bring in additional resources to aid the search.

David Flagg is the Director the United Cajon Navy, an all-volunteer disaster response organization which has stepped in to organize a structured search operation. Flagg informed press that a hovercraft and pilot are coming into town today to continue the search of the Cumberland River.

Additionally, Flagg shared that they will be bringing in more volunteers and conducting an extensive ground search in the near future. For those wishing to get involved with the search, he provided the following guidance:

  1. Always wear sturdy shoes and gloves (nitrile or other) to protect yourself while searching. The terrain along the rivers edge can be treacherous, so exercise extreme caution when traversing those areas.
  2. Get involved under the United Cajun Navy umbrella. Organized and concentrated efforts will be the most successful. To learn more, go to

Representatives from the Metro Nashville Police share additional insight.

Detective Anthony Chandler and Sergeant Robert Neilsen, of the Metro Nashville Police Department Cold Case Unit, joined the press conference to answer questions and clear up speculation. They once again confirmed that there her been no evidence of foul play, and as such, the case remains a missing persons case, rather than a criminal case.

They shared that a Police boat will be going back into the water with members of the urban search and rescue team this afternoon to aid in the search of the Cumberland.

Finally, the detective confirmed that the last transactions on Strain’s debit card, which was found on the river bank on Sunday, were all made on Broadway. This means that Strain did not use it after leaving the bar on the night he disappeared.

The search for Riley Strain continues. Anyone with information is asked to call 615-742-7463.

Riley Strain disappeared after leaving Luke Bryan's 32 Bridge in Nashville, Tennessee



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