HomeCrimeRiley Strain’s Mom Says He Complained About Bad Tasting Rum & Coke...

Riley Strain’s Mom Says He Complained About Bad Tasting Rum & Coke Night He Disappeared – Crime Online

More than a month after her son’s disappearance during night out drinking in Nashville sparked a desperate two week search for him, a Missouri mother says he texted her that night and said his drink “didn’t taste good.”

Michelle Whiteid didn’t say what time that text exchange happened, nor did she say whether she’d shared the information with police. But she told NewsNation’s Brian Entin it made her suspicious.

“Maybe there was something in it that shouldn’t have been,” she said.

Whiteid said her son told her the rum and coke “tastes like barbecue.”

“And I said, ‘Well, you probably shouldn’t drink it then,’” she said “And he goes, ‘It tastes like barbecue’ and I go, ‘Well, that sounds awful’ and he said, ‘It sounds good, but it’s not.’”

Authorities in Nashville are still awaiting toxicology reports from the autopsy on Riley Strain’s body, which resurfaced in the Cumberland River eight miles from where he was last known to be two weeks after his March 8 disappearance, as CrimeOnline reported. Strain and a group of his University of Missouri fraternity brothers were in Nashville for a conference, and they headed out drinking that night.

After arriving by bus, they checked into The Tempo hotel, just a few blocks away from the nightlife, E! Online reported. From there, the group went to Casa Rosa, a bar owned by country star Miranda Lambert, and then to Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk. From the Brooks bar, Strain Facetimed with his mother at about 7:30 p.m., and continued to text her for about an hour after that, or about 8:30 p.m.

From the Brooks bar, the group went to Luke’s 32 Bridge, owned by country star Luke Bryan, where, the bar said, he had one alcoholic beverage and two waters before he was escorted from the premises for an unnamed violation of their behavior policies shortly after 9:30 p.m. He was seen on video as security escorted him out. One of his fraternity brothers accompanied him down the stairs but did not leave with him. Instead, he went back upstairs and rejoined the rest of the group.

Strain’s stepfather, Chris Whiteid, said that some of his fraternity brothers called him, and he told them he was “walking back to my hotel.”

“They didn’t think anything about it,” he said.

Security cameras and even a police officer’s body camera caught Strain outside, first crossing a parking lot and heading away from his hotel. Another camera recording him staggering across First Avenue North at about 10 minutes before 10 p.m. The police officer, investigating a burglary alongside the river, spoke briefly with Strain as he strode by him. There was no indication of any problem.

Strain’s phone last pinged near the James Robertson Parkway Bridge over the river about an hour later.

Strain’s friends told his parents they went out to look for him after they got back to the hotel and saw he wasn’t there but didn’t report him missing to police until the next day. And that’s when the search began. Police located the videos, a searcher found Strain’s bank card alongside the river, and there was nothing else, until March 22, when a worker downriver reported finding a body in the water.

It was Riley Strain. He was missing his pants, not unusual for someone who’d been in the water for two weeks, and therefore his wallet was also missing. Police said at the time the body was found about where they’d expect in the river and at about the time they expected it to surface.

An autopsy was conducted the next day, and police said that so far, all the evidence pointed to an accident with no signs of foul play. A second autopsy, ordered by his parents, had the same results. Both autopsies are awaiting toxicology results.

Late last week, a witness came forward and said they’d seen and spoken to Strain that night, but after talking with police, the witness recanted and said they’d actually seen someone else.

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[Featured image: Riley Strain/family handout]

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