Nashville Police Say Missing Missouri Student Riley Strain’s Phone Was Charged When It Turned Off

Riley Strain
Riley Strain

Well that’s odd…

For over a week now, Nashville police and citizens alike have been in a desperate search for missing 22-year old University of Missouri student Riley Strain, who went missing while in Music City on a fraternity trip.

After being asked to leave the bar, Strain’s friends called him, but he told them he would just walk back to their hotel. The group was staying at the Tempo Hotel, which is just off of Broadway on 8th Avenue, and just a few blocks from Luke’s bar.

But for some reason, it appears that Strain walked in the opposite direction of his hotel. The student was seen on several videos walking towards the river in downtown Nashville, and the last location that his phone pinged was near the James Robertson Parkway Bridge, near the Davidson County Courthouse at around 9:53 pm.

While his friends and family tried tracking him using the Life360 and Snapchat apps, it appears that Strain’s phone turned off around this time.

The question has remained though: Was his phone charged, or did it die while he was trying to find his way back to his hotel? And what about the Apple Watch that Strain appeared to be wearing in the photos from that night?

Well according to one officer, who appears to be with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office here in Nashville, both his iPhone and his watch had plenty of charge when he disappeared – and they both went off at the same time:

Now, it’s possible that the Apple Watch relied on cell service to transmit data, and that when the phone went offline the watch stopped sending signals too. And his parents have reportedly confirmed that the watch did not have data, meaning it relied on his cell phone being nearby (and turned on) to send a signal:

But this still leaves the question of why his phone turned off when it was still charged, and whether it was because the phone was in the river.

Ultimately we still have many more questions than answers, with the only evidence found so far being Riley’s debit card on the embankment leading down to the river.

And just before he disappeared, Strain was seen having a short, unremarkable interaction with a Metro Nashville police officer:

Police still say there’s no indication of foul play, and the search seems to be focused on the river right now, with the Cajun Navy announcing yesterday that they were joining the team to look for Riley with boats and other equipment.

Let’s just hope that we get answers soon…and that Riley Strain is somehow found safe and reunited with his family.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock