Riley Strain: United Cajun Navy joins search efforts for missing student on family's request

Riley Strain: United Cajun Navy joins search efforts for missing student on family's request
Riley Strain vanished after a night out on March 8 (Metro Nashville PD/X)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: The search for Riley Strain, a University of Missouri senior who vanished after a night out in downtown Nashville, continues with added support from the United Cajun Navy.

The 22-year-old went missing on March 8 after being kicked out of Luke Bryan's bar on Lower Broadway. Surveillance footage captured him wandering the streets, showing signs of disorientation before ultimately hitting his head on a pole.


Riley Strain's family says extra resources would help them have a more organized search

Strain's stepfather, Chris Whiteid, noted, "We feel we need the extra resources as we try to get more organized for our family and bring more clues to light," as reported by News Channel 5.

He added, "We are very grateful for everyone that has done everything so far. We ask that you work and help us as we become more organized. We don't want individuals out there alone without us knowing. We appreciate more than you'll ever know about the outpouring we have received."

"Our goal is still to bring Riley home. We feel that is still a pliable goal," asserted Whiteid. 

In response to the family's plea for assistance, the United Cajun Navy, renowned for its disaster relief efforts, has joined the search. Led by Lieutenant Commander David Flagg, the organization will conduct ground and water searches to aid in locating Strain. 

Volunteers warned about dangers they may face while searching for Riley Strain

While both police and the United Cajun Navy welcome outside resources, they caution against succumbing to unfounded conspiracy theories, emphasizing the importance of evidence-based investigations.

Additionally, they stress the hazardous conditions around the Cumberland River, urging volunteers to prioritize safety and heed proper precautions.

Dozens of individuals have dedicated days to scouring the embankment beneath the James Robertson Parkway bridge on Gray Street, where Strain was last seen. Lieutenant Commander Flagg  noted, "We have several watercraft here and a couple more on the way for river searches."

However, the rugged terrain poses obstacles, as Flagg described the embankment as "treacherous," with steep inclines, loose rocks, and abundant debris.

Expressing a willingness to assist, an unskilled volunteer Presley Roan asserted, "More eyes and boots on the ground." This collective endeavor has persisted in Nashville since March 8, the night Strain vanished, as per WSMV4

To mitigate risks, some volunteers resorted to posting flyers, while others utilized drones for aerial searches. Roan emphasized the importance of the search effort, asserting, "Things don’t just vanish. People don’t just vanish. Something had to have happened, and it’s just, I don’t know, he’s somewhere."

Anyone with information about Riley’s disappearance is asked to call police at 615-862-8600. Anyone on the University of Missouri’s campus who has any information is asked to call MU Police at 573-882-7201.

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