Home » Homeless residents in Nashville report sightings of missing student Riley Strain

Homeless residents in Nashville report sightings of missing student Riley Strain

by John Jefferson
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Missing student Riley Strain was reportedly seen wandering in downtown Nashville by two separate groups of homeless people on the night that he disappeared.

Mr Strain, who attends the University of Missouri, has been missing since 8 March after he was kicked out of 32BRIDGE bar, an establishment owned by country singer Luke Bryan, at 9.30pm.

The 22-year-old had allegedly been overserved alcohol, according to his stepfather, Chris Whiteid. The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission is investigating those claims.

After being kicked out, the student then wandered the streets, according to surveillance footage in the area.

His friends subsequently spent nine hours looking for him before filing a missing person report with the police. Mr Strain, from Springfield, Missouri, was in Nashville with his fraternity, Delta Chi, for their spring formal trip.

On Wednesday, friend Chris Dingman said he had learned from Mr Strain’s relatives that the missing student was seen by two groups of homeless people on the night he vanished.

“These are areas that the camera had stops. We don’t have any footage. Basically, the areas where his phone quit pinging. We now do have visual confirmation from two homeless camps that Riley was in that area,” Mr Dingman told local TV station, WSMV4.

Mr Dingman also spoke with a homeless person who saw Mr Strain wandering near the banks of the Cumberland River, which runs through the city close to downtown. However, the homeless resident could not recall where Mr Strain went, his friend said.

A doorman working at a different downtown bar also told WSMV4 that he had been approached by a homeless man who claimed to have seen Mr Strain stumble into some bushes, stand up, and then wander off in the dark.

There have been no other reported sightings of Mr Strain since.

Mr Strain is 6′7″, 155 to 160 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes, according to a police handout.

Police have been searching in and around Nashville, using boats and helicopters to scour the waters and banks of the Cumberland River. So far, investigators have found no evidence that Mr Strain fell into the river, and said it was unlikely foul play was involved.

Investigators have also checked hospitals and jails incase Mr Strain was brought in, and have used cell towers to try to track his location via his cellphone.

His cell network, Verizon, told police that it was not possible to do a “live” ping on the student’s phone location because it had been turned off.

“Police are doing their job 100%,” Mr Dingman said. “We just want to find Riley and get him home. Get him to his mom and dad, get him to campus, get him back to doing fun stuff at MU.”

Mr Strain’s parents described the ordeal as their “worst nightmare”.

“Riley talks to us, whether it’s me or to his mom. He talks to his mom three or four times a day,” Mr Strain’s stepfather, Chris Whiteid, told News 2. “For him to go this long without talking is not normal by any means.”

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