Initial Autopsy Findings For Riley Strain Released

Kelly Avellino / WZTV / Facebook, Metro Nashville PD / X

The preliminary autopsy of Riley Strain has officially been released.

Who is Riley Strain?

Riley Strain was a University of Missouri (Mizzou) student who was in Nashville with his Delta Chi fraternity brothers for a formal event. He and his friends were at Luke Bryan’s restaurant and bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge when he was escorted out after security believed he was “over served.”

During a March 19 press conference, Strain’s stepfather said that Riley’s fraternity brother attempted to leave with him, but the bar didn’t allow him to go out the back door with him. Surveillance footage has proved this statement to be untrue, as Strain was escorted out the front door.

Strain told his friends he would meet them back at their hotel later that night. His friend, Brayden Baltz, called 9-1-1 the next morning and reported him missing. He waited until the morning because the friend group believed he had returned the night before.

The Search For Riley Began

Since he was reported missing, authorities had been searching for him in the Downtown Nashville area, where he was last seen.

Riley Strain disappeared after leaving Luke Bryan's 32 Bridge in Nashville, Tennessee
Metro Nashville Police Department

They were asking for an incredible tips to be called in. Eventually, they pieced together security footage from nearby establishments, which help them put together a timeline of his whereabouts after he left Luke’s 32 Bridge.

Cameras from Music City Wine and Spirits on Church Street were able to spot Strain from two different angles, the first being when he appeared to be running down the sidewalk. He stumbled and then ran into a pole, falling down.

The cameras at Music City Wine and Spirits filmed Riley from two angles. The first angle shows him as he appears to be running down the sidewalk, before stumbling and running into a pole. Riley stayed on the ground for a moment before getting back up on his feet.

Angle number two showed him struggling to walk down Church Street. A Metro Police camera spotted him crossing First Avenue where Church Street turns into Gay Street near Cumberland River. He could be seen looking around and then continuing his walk towards the river.

Additionally, Strain’s debit card was found near Cumberland River, though no extra charges were made after he left Luke’s 32 Bridge.

Riley Strain’s body was found on Friday, March 22.

After two weeks or searching for Strain, his body was recovered in the Cumberland River, as announced by the Metro Nashville Police Department in a post on X.

Tweet from MNPD about finding Riley Strain's body.
Metro Nashville Police Department / X

In a press conference that morning, MNPD revealed that a worker who was pulling debris from the Cumberland River found Strain’s body around 7:28am. Authorities were immediately called and a medical examiner confirmed the body was Strain’s.

How did Riley Strain die?

On Saturday, March 23rd, the Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed to WKRN News 2 that the preliminary autopsy on Strain had been concluded. They stated that his death appeared to be “accidental,” with no signs of trauma indicating foul play.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this unimaginable tragedy.