Initial Autopsy Of College Student Riley Strain Suggests His Death Was Accidental: Authorities

Riley Strain

Initial Autopsy Of College Student Riley Strain Suggests His Death Was Accidental: Authorities

Update (March 25): Authorities in Nashville have revealed that the initial autopsy report for Riley Strain shows that his death was likely “accidental.”

A spokesperson for the Metro Nashville Police Department told The Tennessean that they are still waiting on the toxicology results and that the final autopsy is still pending. They added,

“Detective attended the autopsy examination. Continues to appear accidental.”

Original Story (March 22): The body of Riley Strain, a college student who went missing after getting kicked out of a Nashville bar, has been found, local police said on Friday (March 22).

The Nashville Police Department made the announcement via X (formerly Twitter), writing,

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

Authorities added,

“No foul play-related trauma was observed. An autopsy is pending.”

They later noted that a news conference would be held at 9:45 a.m. local time to share more details.


Riley Strain, 22, was a student at the University of Missouri. He was visiting Nashville with the Delta Chi fraternity for a spring formal and was last seen leaving Luke’s 32 Bridge + Food on March 5. The downtown Nashville bar is owned by country star Luke Bryan. Strain had been asked to leave, however, the venue hasn’t detailed why. Instead, it said in a statement on March 15 that Strain was given one alcoholic beverage and two glasses of water before security walked him out at 9:35 p.m. “based on our conduct standards.”

Strain reportedly told his friends he was going back to their hotel, his stepfather Chris Whiteid previously said. However, he never returned, sparking a city-wide search for him.

Police released surveillance footage of Strain struggling to keep his balance as he crossed 1st Avenue North to Gay Street at 9:47 p.m. About five minutes later, video showed him talking to a police officer who was in the area to respond to a car robbery. The officer simply asks Strain how he’s doing and Strain says, “I’m good, how are you?”

His bank card was later discovered near the river on Gay Street on March 17.


Authored by: Char