Riley Strain Told Mom His Drink “Didn’t Taste Good” On Night Of Disappearance

Michelle Whiteid/Facebook

Nearly six weeks have passed since University of Missouri student Riley Strain went missing in Nashville, and his family is still seeking answers about his disappearance.

In a new interview with NewsNation, Riley’s parents and step-parents sat down for their first interview together since his body was discovered in the Cumberland River two weeks after they last heard from him. In a preview for the interview that airs Tuesday night (April 16), Riley’s mother, Michelle Whiteid, reveals a startling detail about her last text conversation with her son.

“He had sent me a text and said that he had ordered a…was drinking a Rum and Coke and it didn’t taste good. And I said, ‘Well, you probably shouldn’t drink it then.’ And he goes, ‘It tastes like barbecue.’ And I go, ‘That sounds awful.’ He said, ‘Well, it sounds good, but it’s not.'”

When asked if she thought that the text revealed something about his disappearance, Riley’s mom answered, “Yes. Maybe there was something in it that shouldn’t have been.”

About Riley Strain’s Disappearance

22-year-old Riley Strain vanished the evening of March 8 after being kicked out of Luke Bryan’s Nashville bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge. Strain was in Music City with his college fraternity for their annual formal event. When Riley was booted from the bar, he left alone and told one of his frat brothers that he was returning to their hotel. But, he never made it.

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

Security cameras captured the college student making his way through downtown Nashville, seemingly disoriented and struggling to maintain his balance. Less than a half hour after he left the bar, Riley vanished. For two weeks, authorities, his family and an army of volunteers scoured the city for clues of Riley’s whereabouts.

About The Discovery Of Riley Strain’s Body

Exactly two weeks after Riley Strain disappeared, his body was recovered from the Cumberland River about 8 miles from downtown.

While the discovery of Riley’s body brought an end to the search, it was only the beginning for the family who had more questions than answers. An initial autopsy revealed that there were no signs of foul play, but reportedly found that there was no water in Riley’s lungs. The finding led his family to believe that he may have been dead before his body entered the water.

Missing college student Riley Strain
(Left) Kelly Avellino / WZTV / Facebook / (Right) Metro Nashville PD / X

Chris Dingman, a family friend and spokesman, shared in an interview that when Riley was found he was missing his pants, boots, belt and wallet. He dismissed arguments that the force of the moving river could have removed the items from Riley’s body, saying that it would have been nearly impossible since Riley wore his belt cinched tight.

As the family awaits the results of a toxicology report, they ordered a second autopsy in hopes of getting more information. Toxicology and full autopsy reports can take several weeks to complete.

Watch a preview of the interview Riley Strain’s parents did with NewsNation in the video below.

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