Missouri student’s body found in river

Police find Missouri student Riley Strain's body in Tennessee river. No foul play is suspected.



March 22, 2024 - 2:31 PM

Photo by Dreamstime / TNS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Riley Strain, a University of Missouri student who went missing in Tennessee’s capital for nearly two weeks, has been found dead in a river, police announced Friday. No foul play is suspected, investigators said.

Metro Nashville police officials confirmed that Strain’s body had been recovered from the Cumberland River approximately 8 miles west of downtown at around 7:30 a.m.

Police Chief John Drake told reporters that workers on the river initially found Strain’s body and alerted authorities. Medical examiners later confirmed it was Strain, he said, adding that an autopsy will be conducted later Friday.

“We have reports that normally under these circumstances … with his height and weight, he could have surfaced between 14 and 20 days,” Drake said. “This is the 14th day. So we were really expecting to find him.”

Police previously said Strain, 22, was last seen just before 10 p.m. on March 8 after drinking downtown. A massive search was quickly launched, with just small clues available to help investigators trying to find him, including finding his bank card along a river bank and using surveillance footage to track his final moments.

University of Missouri officials said in a statement that Strain was traveling to Nashville to attend a private event.

Strain’s mother, Michelle Whiteid, and his stepfather, Chris Whiteid, have been in Nashville after learning about his disappearance.

“I just need to know where my son is,” Michelle Whiteid initially told outlets. “We talk every day, multiple times a day. This is the longest I’ve ever gone without talking to him. It’s devastating. I just want to find him and hug him.”

Drake said that his “heart and prayers” were going to Strain’s family “for this very unfortunate and tragic accident.”