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Missing Missouri Student Visited Multiple Nashville Bars, Spoke to Cop on Eerie Final Night

HomeTop NewsMissing Missouri Student Visited Multiple Nashville Bars, Spoke to Cop on Eerie...

The baffling case of Riley Strain, the 22-year-old University of Missouri student who disappeared under strange circumstances in Nashville’s neon-drenched downtown, has taken an even more perplexing turn. New clues about his erratic movements on the night he went missing seem to raise more questions than answers.

Nashville police released jarring security footage on Monday that captures Strain in an eerily calm interaction around 9:52pm on March 8th – just minutes after he was booted from a popular riverfront bar. The clip shows Strain strolling alone down a sidewalk along the Cumberland River on Gay Street when an officer investigating a vehicle break-in asks how he’s doing.

“I’m good, how are you?” Strain replies nonchalantly before carrying on unhurried down the street and out of the camera’s view.

Authorities say they have no Video evidence of Strain’s whereabouts after that 9:52pm sighting near the raucous Broadway bar district he had been barhopping through with his fraternity brothers from Delta Chi earlier that night.

“He’s walking by himself on the river side and speaks to a police officer as the officer is looking at a vehicle that had been broken into,” said Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. “No evidence of foul play has surfaced.”

However, that calm demeanor during the newly released video is decidedly at odds with security footage from just minutes before when bouncers kicked Strain out of the Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink bar around 9:35pm.

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Those prior clips showed the young man stumbling and swaying in an apparent drunken stupor, at one point falling down on the sidewalk before picking himself back up and meandering away from the establishment owned by country star Luke Bryan.

The bar claimed Strain was only served one alcoholic beverage during his time there, in addition to two waters, before being removed for violating unspecified “conduct standards.”

To those who saw the unsteady footage, it raised disturbing theories that something more nefarious than excessive drinking may have been at play – possibly involving Strain being unknowingly drugged during his night out in Nashville’s iconic honky-tonks.

“I’ve done a fair amount of drinking in my life, and I still question whether it was alcohol or something else,” Strain’s stepfather Chris Whiteid told NBC News after viewing the clips of his stepson’s puzzling physical state.

Whiteid said Strain had FaceTimed with his mother in a coherent state between 7:30-8pm that same evening while barhoppers earlier at the Garth Brooks-owned Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk and Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa venue.

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“He didn’t even sound like he had been drinking a lot,” Whiteid recalled, making the scenes of Strain struggling to maintain his balance in the footage from later that night all the more bewildering.

In the 10 days since Strain vanished, Whiteid claims to have received up to 10 horror stories from people who believed they were drugged without their knowledge while partying at Nashville’s famed watering holes.

“We’re hearing the horror stories…I hope that this helps bring it to light for people that are coming to town so they’re aware, so they watch and pay more attention,” Whiteid said. “But I definitely feel that there is a very good possibility that this is a common problem in this town.”

While the new police video may have eased fears that Strain was being menaced or attacked as he walked along the riverfront around 10pm, the puzzle pieces simply don’t fit together in a cohesive way.

How could the seemingly coherent young man transform into a severely impaired, stumbling mess in just a couple of hours? And if he had been incapacitated in some way, what deprived him of the ability to reach out for help or return to the safety of his friends and accommodations?

In a bizarre twist, authorities recovered Strain’s bank card from the riverbank between Gay Street and the Cumberland on Sunday – potentially both a clue and a dead-end in the frantic search to locate him.

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Whiteid said there were no signs of theft, as Strain’s cards showed no unauthorized charges aside from the account linked to the recovered bank card itself. So if he was simply incapacitated and stripped of his valuables, why leave the card behind?

As the online discourse rages over what could have happened to Strain, from random acts of violence to the more insidious threat of being drugged at Nashville’s hallowed honky-tonks, the missing student’s family is pleading for the public’s help.

“I want Riley to know: We’re actively looking for you, son,” Whiteid said through tears. “We’re going to bring you home.”

For Nashville’s revelers and Strain’s loved ones alike, the coming days could prove pivotal in unraveling this Gordian knot of a mystery gripping the iconic Music City. Every baffling clue raises new unsettling questions about the student’s final hours.

As the internet sleuths dissect every detail and authorities re-examine the trail of breadcrumbs, from the riverfront bars to that calm police encounter at 9:52pm, one fact is undeniable: something inexplicable happened to Riley Strain on the night he disappeared without a trace in Nashville’s neon-bathed dreamscape.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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