Alleged Witness In Riley Strain Investigation Withdraws Statement After Questioning

Kelly Avellino / WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville / Facebook

Nashville police clarified details of Riley Strain’s death after a witness alleged they were the last to speak with him on the night he went missing.

On March 8, Strain went missing after a night out in Nashville with his fraternity brothers, leading to a whirlwind of events and investigations that have yet to provide closure for his grieving family.

Initial hope was sparked when a witness came forward, claiming to have been the last person to speak with Strain on the night he vanished. The family’s spokesperson, Chris Dingman, considered this development significant, emphasizing the importance of this new account in understanding the circumstances leading to Strain’s disappearance.

However, the Nashville Police Department later announced that this individual recanted their statement during interrogation, admitting they had not actually seen Strain that night.

A department spokesperson informed E! News on April 12 that although the individual initially claimed to have seen and spoken with Riley the night he disappeared, they later withdrew their statement during a detective’s questioning, admitting they hadn’t actually seen him but rather someone else.

“The case remains open and unclassified, pending the report from the medical examiner’s office, which is awaiting toxicology reports. Until now, there is no tangible reason to believe there was any foul play involved,” the spokesperson stated.

Before the police department provided further details, Chris Dingman had previously said the new witness provided his account to the family before going to the cops.

“That was huge,” he told News Nation on April 10 of the newfound information. “That was something we were looking for. He told the detective his account of the story of what happened to Riley.”

Riley Strain, a 22-year-old University of Missouri student, mysteriously disappeared during a night out in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 8, 2024.

Riley Strain's mom recalled their final conversation before he went missing on March 8th
WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville / Facebook

After an extensive search that gripped the community and involved family, friends, local authorities, volunteers, and even TikTokers, his body was tragically discovered in the Cumberland River two weeks later, on March 22.

Following the recovery of Riley Strain’s body, his family addressed the public in a heartfelt press conference.

RELATED: Riley Strain’s Mom Remembers Last Time They Talked Before He Went Missing

The circumstances leading up to his disappearance and subsequent death have been the subject of intense scrutiny, with both the Metro Nashville Police Department and Strain’s family striving to piece together what happened on that fateful night.

Despite initial suggestions of an accidental death, many details remain unclear, including how Strain ended up in the river.

Surveillance footage and witness statements have provided some clues, but the family continues to seek answers, emphasizing the need for further investigation into the events leading to Riley’s untimely death.

Two weeks after his initial disappearance, Riley Strain was honored at a celebration of life that took place in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri.