Metro Police Chief Shares Details Surrounding Riley Strain’s Discovery

Photo: Christopher Whiteid

Today, March 22, Metro Police Chief John Drake provided an update on the discovery of Riley Strain’s body.

Early this morning, at approximately 7:28am, a worker near the Cumberland River found Strain’s body buried under debris. Firefighters swiftly responded to retrieve the body, and a medical examiner confirmed Strain’s identity at the scene. Notably, Strain was found fully clothed, with his watch still on his wrist.

Chief Drake mentioned that while a detailed autopsy is scheduled for later today, initial assessments suggest no apparent signs of foul play or trauma. However, toxicology tests will be conducted to gather more information about the circumstances surrounding Strain’s death.

Investigators are currently leaning towards the theory that Strain accidentally fell into the river and drowned. This hypothesis aligns with the evidence available, but further investigation is needed for confirmation.

The community has been actively engaged in the search for Strain, providing over two hundred tips to the police. Chief Drake also noted that today marks two weeks since Strain’s disappearance, consistent with earlier predictions regarding the timing of his body’s discovery downstream from the city.

Strain’s family was informed promptly about the discovery, as they have been deeply involved in the search efforts since he went missing.

As the investigation unfolds, authorities are dedicated to unraveling the circumstances surrounding Riley Strain’s death, aiming to provide closure for his family and the community.

Just three days before his discovery, Riley Strain’s parents, Chris and Michelle Whiteid, stood alongside representatives from Metro Nashville Police to address the public from Public Square Park in downtown Nashville, close to Riley’s last known whereabouts.

Riley Strain was reported missing on Saturday, March 9th, after being removed from Luke Bryan’s bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge, the night before. Despite informing friends that he would return to the hotel, Riley failed to make it back and hadn’t been seen or heard from since.

Throughout the investigation, surveillance footage from nearby establishments played a vital role in retracing Riley’s footsteps after leaving Broadway. The footage depicted Riley walking along 3rd Avenue away from Broadway, then turning onto Church Street, and eventually proceeding along Gay Street near the Cumberland River. It was in this area that Riley’s cell phone was last traced, leading investigators to speculate that he may have fallen into the river.

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