“He’s My Best Friend, He’s Everything”- Riley Strain’s Mother Breaks Down During Nashville Press Conference

Riley Strain's Parents Nashville

The search for Riley Strain continues.

The family of 22-year-old Riley Strain just stood for a press conference by Nashville’s Cumberland River as the search for their son continues, now over a week after he disappeared. Over the last week, social media and Nashville citizens have come together in hopes of uncovering evidence that will help Riley be found.

Last Friday, the Missouri college student went missing after getting kicked out of Luke Bryan’s downtown bar while in town for a fraternity event. The case has been deemed a missing person case. However, all the evidence that has been uncovered thus far suggests this could be worse. The only solid evidence is his debit card found near a bank of the Cumberland River, and the odd string of body cam footage and parking lot surveillance does not add up.

Search efforts continue near the Cumberland River, as that was Strain’s last known location, and his card was found there.

Riley Strain’s family noted that they felt more than supported during this time. While it’s any parent’s nightmare to receive a phone call that their child is missing, Strain’s family has been keeping a positive outlook, hoping that they can still “bring Riley home.”

Today, during a press conference for the next search party that will search the river banks, the United Cajun Navy announced that it is deploying a search party after communicating with the family. The conference was held so volunteers could be briefed on safety protocols before heading down the banks.

During one portion of the press conference, a reporter asked Strain’s mother how the other boys were feeling about their friend’s disappearance. Strain’s mother heartbreakingly replied that they feel responsible, then noted how much she hopes they locate their son.

“With the boys? I mean, they are heartbroken, also. I mean, he’s their best friend, and we love these boys like our own. It’s just as hard on them as it is on them. Right now, we are just focused on bringing Riley home. He’s my best friend, he’s everything.”

Watching this clip makes your stomach flip because even reporting on this story is beyond heartbreaking; living it would be painstaking.

At the beginning of the press conference, Strain’s stepfather spoke again about how supportive the Nashville community has been and how thankful they are that so many people are willing to aid in their search efforts. However, they feel they need extra resources to help solve where Riley is.

“We’ve spoken with Dave of the United Cajun Navy. We feel that we need the extra resources to come in and help us. To see if we can get more organized for our family and see if we can’t bring some more clues to light. We are very grateful for everyone that’s done everything so far. We ask that you continue. We ask that you work and help us become more organized because we don’t want individuals out there alone without us knowing…we want to make sure everyone is careful.

Our goal is to still bring Riley home, and we feel as though it is still a pliable goal.” 

If you want to watch the entire press conference, you can do so below. The Metro Nashville Police Department is asking anyone with information to call them at 615-742-7463.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock