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

Riley Strain and his mother, Michelle

(Left) WKRN News 2 / YouTube / (Right) Kelly Avellino / WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville / Facebook

22-Year-Old Riley Strain Went Missing In Nashville On March 8th

Riley Strain’s mom, Michelle Whiteid, recalls the last time she spoke with her son.

22-year-old Riley went missing in Nashville, Tennessee after being escorted out of Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge on Friday, March 8th. He was reported missing the following day.

The missing poster for Riley Strain

32 Bridge released a statement explaining why Riley was asked to leave the bar that night. They said:

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.”

Riley, a student at the University of Missouri, was in Nashville with his fraternity brothers for his spring formal. His friends were the ones who reported Riley missing after they realized he never made it back to his hotel on March 8th.

Since then, surveillance footage has been released that shows Riley wandering through the streets of downtown Nashville near the Cumberland River. He was last seen near the intersection of Gay Street at the James Robertson Parkway bridge.

Riley could be seen stumbling and appeared unsteady on his feet.

Another video shows Riley briefly interacting with a Nashville police officer on the night of his disappearance. Nashville police said Riley “did not appear distressed” during the interaction with the officer.

Riley Strain’s Debit Card Was Found Near The Cumberland River

Nashville police have said they do not suspect foul play to be a factor in Riley’s disappearance. Their search efforts have been primarily focused on the Cumberland River.

Police have conducted multiple searches of the river, including helicopter sweeps. The United Cajun Navy, a group specialized in water searches, has also been assisting in the search.

Then, on Sunday (March 17th), Riley’s debit card was found on the embankment between Gay Street and the Cumberland River. So far, this is the only piece of physical evidence discovered in relation to the case.

On Wednesday (March 20th) some search teams moved to the Cheatham Dam in Ashland City. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the dam, which is approximately 42 miles downstream from Nashville.

The Cheatham Country Sheriff’s office conducted a “basic shutdown” at the facility where the Cumberland River converges with Cheatham Lake. Crews searched for any potentially relevant items in connection to Strain’s disappearance. Unfortunately, nothing was found when the search concluded for the day.

Riley Strain’s Mom Remembers Their Last Conversation & Texts Before He Went Missing

Riley Strain’s mom and stepfather held a press conference on Tuesday (May 19th) to speak about his disappearance and the search efforts.

Then, on Wednesday (March 20th), Riley’s mother Michelle Whiteid spoke with PEOPLE and shared details of her last conversation with Riley.

Michelle says she had a migraine on the night Riley went missing. She went to bed early but didn’t want Riley to know she wasn’t feeling well.

They texted back and forth throughout the night, and Riley sent her a picture from Miranda Lambert’s bar Casa Rosa. Then he FaceTimed her, and she thinks he was at Garth Brooks’ newly opened Friends in Low Places bar at the time.

I was laying down, and I didn’t want him to know I didn’t feel good, but I was just telling him that I was watching a show,” she said. He and his friends teased her for being in bed so early. “They were giving me a hard time, saying, ‘It’s 7:30, what are you doing in bed already? Come on, Mom, get up!‘”

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

Michelle says she and Riley FaceTimed for a while because “he was so excited” to show her what he was doing.

Then we hung up and he texted me and he was like, ‘It was kind of hard to hear you, but I wanted you to see what was happening,'” she recalled. “I said, ‘Well, you boys be safe. Make good choices. I love you guys.’ And he said, ‘I love you, too,’ And that’s it, that’s the last I have heard from him.”

UPDATE: Riley Strain’s Body Was Recovered From The Cumberland River

Police announced on Friday morning (March 22) that Riley Strain’s body was recovered from the Cumberland River, about eight miles from downtown Nashville. No signs of “foul play-related trauma” were observed on his body. An autopsy is pending.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Riley’s family during this difficult time.