College Student’s Death Appears ‘Accidental’ After Leaving Luke Bryan's Bar



Riley Strain
College Student Riley Strains Death Appears Accidental After Going Missing From Luke Bryans Bar

College student Riley Strain’s preliminary autopsy has been completed.

The Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed to local ABC affiliate WKRN on Saturday, March 23, that Strain’s death appeared to be “accidental” with no foul-play trauma.

Local police officers announced one day earlier that Strain had been found dead eight miles from downtown Nashville. Strain was 22 and a college student at the University of Missouri, Columbia, who had been visiting Tennessee during a Delta Chi fraternity trip.

“The body of Riley Strain was recovered from the Cumberland River in West Nashville this morning, approximately 8 miles from downtown,” the Nashville PD tweeted on Friday, March 22. “No foul play-related trauma was observed. An autopsy is pending.”

Strain went missing on March 8, with his last known whereabouts at Luke Bryan’s Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink restaurant.

“The boys called him, and he said, ‘I’m walking back to my hotel,’” Strain’s stepfather, Chris Whiteid, told local news outlet WSMV several days later. “They didn’t think anything about it.”

Whiteid later said on an episode of “Top Story With Tom Llamas” that Strain had contacted his family when the group arrived at the bar.

“It’s very odd. Friday night when they got there, he had sent pictures, he called,” Whiteid recalled. “Yes, we’re hurting and everything, but right now we’re still expecting a positive outcome.”

Security footage later revealed that Strain had taken a wrong turn away from his hotel. While an investigation was ongoing, news broke that Strain’s bank card had been located near Cumberland River and Gay Street.

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After Strain was reported missing, security camera footage later revealed that he had been walking around intoxicated with a homeless man. He also allegedly sent a “Good lops” text to a girl that he was seeing before the trip; she admitted to being confused by his message.

Bryan, 47, and his bar have not publicly addressed Strain’s death. They were cooperating with the investigation.

“In our effort to help the Nashville Metro Police Department’s Missing Persons investigation of Riley Strain, we proactively provided detailed information quickly after his visit to our business on March 8,” the statement on the singer’s Instagram read earlier this month. “This information included all security camera footage, photos of Riley at our establishment with detailed time stamps, transaction records and staff accounts.”

The statement continued, “During Riley’s visit to Luke’s 32 Bridge, our records show he purchased and was served one alcoholic drink and two waters. At 9:35 p.m., our security team made a decision based on our conduct standards to escort him from the venue through our Broadway exit at the front of our building. He was followed down the stairs with one member of his party. The individual with Riley did not exit and returned upstairs. Our prayers continue to be with Riley’s friends and family during this difficult time and for his safe return.”



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