Riley Strain’s Family Orders Second Autopsy After First One Revealed Puzzling Detail

NewsNation/Riley Strain Family

The family of Riley Strain was left with more questions than answers after his initial autopsy report was released on Sunday, March 24.

Riley Strain, a 22-year-old student at the University of Missouri, disappeared during a trip to Nashville with his college fraternity. On March 8, Strain and his friends were visiting Luke Bryan’s downtown bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge, when he was kicked out.

Strain told a friend that he would return to their hotel, but never made it. His friends didn’t realize he was missing until the following morning and filed a missing persons report. For two weeks, a massive search for the student took place with authorities and volunteers scouring the city for signs of Riley Strain. Local businesses released footage captured by surveillance cameras in the minutes leading up to Riley’s disappearance.

The videos offered crucial insight into the route Strain took after leaving the bar, but offered no answers as to what happened to the missing student.

Two weeks after his disappearance, Riley Strain’s body was discovered in the Cumberland River roughly 8 miles from downtown Nashville.


An initial autopsy was performed and no evidence of foul play was found. The coroner concluded that Riley’s death was accidental, although toxicology results are pending.

But, the autopsy results only led to more questions from Riley Strain’s family. As a result, they ordered a second autopsy.

Family friend and spokesman Chris Dingman revealed during an interview on Wednesday, March 27, that the coroner who performed the initial autopsy told local media that there was a lack of water in Riley’s lungs.

“One thing that threw the family for a loop was the coroner going on record with a news person in Nashville stating about the lack of water in his lungs. It raises more questions,” Dingman told News Nations’ Elizabeth Vargas Reports. “I’m not a crime drama person by any means, but usually water in the lungs means they were alive when they went into the water.”

Dingman also shared that when Riley’s body was recovered from the river his pants, boots, and wallet were missing.

“Unfortunately the only thing that was found with him, which the police stated in the report, was the watch and the shirt. Everything else was not with him when he was found,” Dingman shared.

Strain’s family and investigators are hopeful that the Justin boots, Buckle jeans, and Michael Kors billfold will be found and offer more insight into what happened to Riley. Dingman added that in some of the final photos of Riley taken the night of his disappearance, he appeared to have been carrying his billfold in his front pocket, a common practice for tourists to protect their valuables from pickpocketing.

This detail is alarming due to the fact that Riley’s wallet should have been secure in his jeans pocket, but his debit card was found on an embankment near the river on March 17, nine days after he went missing.

“I strongly believe … I think there’s somebody out there that knows what actually happened that night, and we would love for them to come forward,” Dingman said.”We need some more info.”

Riley Strain will be laid to rest Friday, March 29, in Springfield, Missouri. A public visitation will be followed by a funeral service and burial.

Watch the full interview with Chris Dingman in the video below.