Body of missing student Riley Strain found in river


A body found in a river in West Nashville has been confirmed to be missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department confirmed on Friday.

“The body of Riley Strain was recovered from the Cumberland River in West Nashville this morning, approximately 8 miles from downtown,” police said on social media.

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake said in a news conference that “there is no other evidence that suggests anything other than” Strain falling into the river, noting that he still had his clothes, watch and other identifying items on him.

Police added that no “foul play-related trauma was observed” and an autopsy is pending. Strain’s family has been informed, Drake said.

Strain, 22, disappeared while on a fraternity trip to Nashville, and was last seen on March 8, shortly after being kicked out of Luke’s 32 Bridge, a bar owned by country singer Luke Bryan.

In recent days, the search for Strain has focused on area waterways after his debit card was found along a Nashville river. Officials first focused on Cumberland River’s downtown section before expanding the search to include more of the river, including the Cheatham Dam, which is about 40 miles from downtown Nashville. The search has involved helicopters, boats and ground crews. Police also shut down the dam to inspect debris that floated to the surface, CBS affiliate WTVF reported.

Strain’s body was found by workers at a company on the river shortly after 7 a.m., Drake said.

“They removed something from the river and as they moved it they noticed Mr. Strain and called it in,” Drake said. The police chief said that officers had planned to search this area of the river today, noting that because of Strain’s height and weight it was believed his body could be surfacing in the area soon.

Drake said that the police department received over 200 tips during the search for Strain, and thanked the community for their attempts to find him. He also said his “heart and prayers go out” to Strain’s family.

The Cumberland River is a major waterway that runs over 680 miles through Kentucky and Tennessee. Multiple dams dot the river.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has been working with the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office to conduct downriver operations. The United Cajun Navy, a volunteer disaster relief organization, has also participated in the search.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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