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Missing University of Missouri student was captured on officer’s body camera before he went missing

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Noelle Alviz-Gransee
The Kansas City Star
(TNS)

New body cam footage released by Nashville police Monday shows University of Missouri student Riley Strain walking and in conversation with a police officer after his last known sighting the night he went missing in Nashville.

Police said in a tweet Monday afternoon that Nashville officer Reginald Young was responding to a vehicle burglary call on Gay Street, south of the Woodland Street Bridge, when he saw Strain. They greeted each other briefly, and Strain did not appear distressed, according to Young, who remained in the area for 45 minutes.

As of now, there is no footage that shows Riley away from Gay street after 9:52, police said. No evidence of foul play has been found.

Strain, 22, of Springfield, was last seen around 10 p.m. on March 8 when he was kicked out of Luke’s 32 Bridge Bar at 301 Broadway, a downtown Nashville bar owned by country star Luke Bryan, according to Metro Nashville police.

A friend told police they lost sight of him and tried to use Snapchat to find his location but weren’t successful, police said in a news release. Strain’s friends attempted to call him multiple times into the next day but kept getting his voicemail.

Police said in a tweet Sunday afternoon that Riley’s bank card was found on the embankment between Gay Street and the Cumberland River. Chris Dingman, a family friend for over 40 years, told The Star it was found by TikTok users who have taken an interest in the case. He referred to them as TikTok investigators. A segment of a livestream posted by one of the creators shows the moment when one of them found the card .

Strain was identified by a homeless person last week when he reportedly walked through a homeless camp the night he went missing.

Dingman also confirmed that the bouncer did not allow Strain to stand outside of the bar to wait for his friends to close their tabs. He was taken out the side door of the bar, and by the time his friends paid and walked out, he was gone.

Aaron Rummage, Director of Legislation, Policy and Communications at the Tennessee Alcohol and Beverage Commission told The Star in a statement Thursday there is an investigation into the bar to see if there were any violations, such as overserving the college student.

“There are no specific rules or statutes that governs escorting out intoxicated patrons from their businesses or providing assistance in getting someone home. However, state law prohibits serving alcoholic beverages to someone who is visibly intoxicated. A violation is a class A misdemeanor,” Rummage said in the statement.

A friend called police at 1:46 p.m. Saturday from outside the Nashville Central Police Precinct trying to file a missing person’s report, explaining they were in town for a fraternity formal when Strain went missing.

“We’re here on a fraternity formal trip. It’s one of my good buddies,” the caller said.

Strain is a Springfield native and senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies and business, as well as a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. A vigil was held last Wednesday night at his old high school, Kickapoo High, to pray for his safe return.

“We love him more than anything and just want him home,” said Riley Strain’s cousin Chelsea Strain in a statement to The Star last Wednesday.

The 911 caller said that the last location of Strain’s phone was around 11 p.m. that night near the Central Police Precinct at the intersection of Korean Veterans Boulevard and 6th Avenue.

“We’ll be here,” the caller said when the operator told him officers were on their way the next day.

Police said they did a hospital and jail check, as well as a phone ping. Verizon was not able to get a live ping because Strain’s phone was off, but did give the phone’s last known location, which was 0.64 miles southwest of the cell tower at 19 Oldham Street, a news release said.

Detectives released surveillance video last week of Strain crossing North 1st Avenue to Gay Street that night. A be-on-the-lookout order was also issued, a release said.

Police also conducted a helicopter search of the area, including the riverbank, last Monday, as well as a ground search with no results. The Urban Search & Rescue team conducted a deep search Thursday along the brush and the riverbank of the Cumberland River, according to a tweet from the police department.

Strain is described as a white male, 160 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black and brown button-up shirt with a black chest pocket, blue jeans, brown boots and a black Apple watch.

Anyone who sees Strain is asked to call 615-862-8600.

©2024 The Kansas City Star. Visit kansascity.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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