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Riley Strain’s Death Appears “Accidental,” Police Say

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Police have confirmed new details about the death of University of Missouri student Riley Strain. The 22-year-old’s body was found in a river in Nashville March 22.

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New details about the death of University of Missouri student Riley Strain have been made public.

On March 23, one day after the 22-year-old’s body was found in the Cumberland River in Nashville following an almost two-week search, the Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed to WKRN that Strain’s preliminary autopsy had been completed. They said his death continues to appear “accidental,” with no foul play-related trauma.

A police spokesperson echoed similar comments to the Tennessean newspaper, adding, “A detective attended the autopsy examination.” Toxicology results are still pending.

E! News has reached out to the department for comment and has not heard back.

The police had also stated March 22, after announcing that the college student’s body had been located, that “There are no signs of foul play at this time.”

One of Strain’s friends had reported him missing to police March 9, a day after he was last seen publicly, on a night out with his Delta Chi fraternity brothers in Nashville.

At one point, the group had stopped at Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink, a bar and restaurant owned by Luke Bryan that is located two blocks away from the river, and Strain was later asked to leave the venue and was escorted out.

The TC Restaurant Group, which oversees the venue, said in a statement March 15 that during Strain’s visit, he purchased and was served one alcoholic drink and two waters and that at 9:35 p.m., their 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.”

The group added, “He was followed down the stairs with one member of his party. The individual with Riley did not exit and returned upstairs.”

Metro Nashville PD

Several more clues had led to the finding of Strain’s body, located eight miles upstream from where he was last seen. Surveillance video released by police March 12 showed him stumbling while crossing a street near the river 12 minutes after leaving the bar. In addition, his family tracked his last cellphone location to a location less than a mile from the venue and, police said March 15 they found his bank card at an embankment near the river.

Strain is survived by his parents, mother Michelle Whiteid and stepfather Chris Whiteid, father Robert Gilbert and stepmother Milli Gilbert, plus his sister Chelsea Strain and girlfriend Anna Pauly.

Following news of Strain’s death, his family appeared at a press conference. “I just ask that you mommas out there hug your babies tight tonight, please,” his mother said. “Please for me. Hug your babies tight tonight.”

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