Missing Riley Strain’s stepfather Chris Whiteid details feeling ‘frustrated’ and ‘depressed’ as search for the boy continues

Missing Riley Strain’s stepfather Chris Whiteid details feeling ‘frustrated’ and ‘depressed’ as search for the boy continues
Riley Strain's stepfather Chris Whiteid expressed confidence in the investigation (Metro Nashville Police Department, ABC/ Screenshot)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Chris Whiteid, the stepfather of missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain, detailed feeling depressed and frustrated as the search for his stepson continues.

Strain disappeared on March 8 after a fraternity trip to Nashville, and his family is beginning to have difficult conversations.

Riley Strain's stepfather Chris Whiteid asks for empathy and expects people to know how they are feeling 

Despite the grim circumstances, Whiteid and his family are holding onto hope and asking for empathy as they navigate this difficult time.

An investigation has been launched into whether missing college student Riley Strain was overserved alcohol at Luke Bryan’s Broadway bar in Nashville (Metro Nashville Police Department)
Riley Strain disappeared on March 8 (Metro Nashville Police Department)

“Put yourself in our shoes,” Whiteid implored on ABC News. “Your family, your brother, your sister – they’ve been missing for almost two weeks," he added.

He expressed the family’s frustration, hurt, and depression, acknowledging that these are feelings people might expect them to have.

"Everybody knows it, everybody's thinking it -- those conversations are starting to happen," he said.

"It's not what we want. And I understand that people want to know what we're feeling -- we're feeling frustrated, we're feeling hurt, we're feeling depressed," said Whiteid.

Chris Whiteid, stepfather of Riley Strain detailed feeling frustrated and hurt (ABC/ Screenshot)
Chris Whiteid, stepfather of Riley Strain detailed feeling frustrated and hurt (ABC/ Screenshot)

Chris Whiteid expressed confidence in police investigation of Riley Strain's disappearance 

Whiteid expressed confidence in the ongoing police investigation. He believes that “somebody’s seen something, somebody knows something,” and urges them to share that information.

“We feel very confident with everything that’s moving forward,” Whiteid said of the police investigation, city support, and volunteer searches.

“There’s not a playbook we can go by when, you know, something like this happens, so the more experienced people you can have in your corner, the better,” he added.



 

The search for Strain has now expanded beyond Nashville, with authorities shutting down a dam to sift through debris about 30 miles downstream from where Strain was last seen.

The disappearance of Riley Strain

Riley Strain, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Missouri, went missing on March 8 after a night out in Nashville, Tennessee, with his Delta Chi fraternity brothers.

They visited several bars that night, including Luke Bryan’s bar, Luke's 32 Bridge Food + Drink, Casa Rosa, and Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk.

Around 9.30 pm, Strain was kicked out of Luke's 32 Bridge and told his friends he was going to walk back to their hotel.

His last known whereabouts were near Gay Street and Riverfront Park, where he was seen on camera interacting politely with a police officer, who claimed Strain “did not appear distressed.”



 

Videos also showed him walking and running on the street and crashing after hitting the pole.

On March 18, nearly two weeks after his disappearance, Strain’s bank card was found on an embankment near the Cumberland River. However, investigators have found no evidence of foul play.

Chris Whiteid reveals Riley Strain's last message to mother Michelle Whiteid

After seeing Strain's video of briefly interacting with a police officer on a burglary call, Whiteid said Strain sounded like his usual polite self in that interaction.

"Why he didn't ask for help, I can't answer," Whiteid said. "It makes no sense."

Whiteid mentioned that Strain and his mother, Michelle Whiteid, communicated several times daily. On the evening of March 8, according to Whiteid, Strain made a FaceTime call to his mother from a bar and appeared to be sober.

Following the FaceTime conversation, Strain and his mother continued to text each other, Whiteid noted. The final message Strain sent his mother that night read, “I love you.”

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