Missing Mizzou student Riley Strain was served only 1 drink, Nashville bar says

The University of Missouri student who went missing after being kicked out of a Nashville bar was served only one drink before he was asked to leave country music star Luke Bryan’s bar, the owners said.

Luke’s 32 Bridge + Drink and its owner, TC Restaurant Group, said in a statement that Riley Strain, 22, was served one alcoholic drink and two waters while at the downtown Nashville bar during a trip with his fraternity for a spring formal.

He was last seen on security video just before 10 p.m. March 8. In the footage, he appears to sway and do a full 360-degree turn before continuing to walk.

Luke’s 32 Bridge + Drink’s statement said that “based on our conduct standards,” Strain was escorted out by security at 9:35 p.m. It did not provide details about Strain’s alleged behavior before he was removed.

Riley Strain
Riley Strain.Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

The bar’s owners said Strain was escorted out through the Broadway exit at the front of the building. A friend accompanied him down the stairs, according to the statement, but the friend did not leave with Strain, instead returning upstairs to the bar.

Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission communications director Aaron Rummage said earlier this week that the agency was investigating whether Strain was “served alcohol while he was visibly intoxicated.”

The bar said in the statement that it “proactively engaged in communication” with TABC and will continue to do so, as well as provide any records necessary to assist in the investigation.

The bar said it had also “provided detailed information” to the Nashville Metro Police Department in an effort to help locate the missing man.

“This information included all security camera footage, photos of Riley at our establishment with detailed time stamps, transaction records, and staff accounts,” the statement said.

When Strain left the bar, he told his friends he was going to return to his hotel, his stepfather, Chris Whiteid, told NBC affiliate WSMV of Nashville. Whiteid said in an interview on “Top Story with Tom Llamas” on Tuesday that Strain never made it back to the hotel.

Security footage released by the MNPD showed Strain crossing 1st Avenue North to Gay Street at 9:47 p.m., which is about 0.7 miles from Luke’s 32 Bridge and in the opposite direction of Tempo Hotel, where he and his friends were staying.

Robert Neilsen, a sergeant with Nashville police, said Thursday that that the last video police have of Strain is from 9:52 p.m., when he is seen walking north between the James Robertson Parkway and Woodland Street Bridge. He said that other nearby cameras did not pick up Strain’s route and that police were continuing to look for more security cameras they may have missed for more information.

A search mission by ground, air and along the riverbank near where Strain was last seen has been ongoing.

Neilsen said that the department has been using boats with sonar capabilities as well as drones to look for Strain. He said the department is waiting on records from Strain’s cellphone and his Apple Watch to determine where he may have gone.

Nielsen said there was no sign of foul play at this point and it was still a missing person investigation.

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