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Moment man realizes he’s found Riley Strain’s body revealed in tragic 911 audio 14 days after the University of Missouri student disappeared during night out

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A 911 call reveals the heartbreaking moment that missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain was found dead in a river, two weeks after his disappearance gripped the country. 

Last Friday, the 22-year-old was pulled from the Cumberland River in Nashville after an exhaustive search. 

He was found by a worker for a local building materials company that unloads barges at the river. 

The man, clearly shaken, begins to tell the 911 operator what he’s seen in newly-released audio.

‘My company works on the river. I have just found a, uh, dead body’ before adding, ‘I believe it to be Riley.’

A 911 call reveals the heartbreaking moment that missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain was found dead in a river, two weeks after his disappearance gripped the country

A 911 call reveals the heartbreaking moment that missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain was found dead in a river, two weeks after his disappearance gripped the country

The dispatcher then asks him what the corpse looks like.

‘It’s definitely a person here. Black shirt, kind of white, muddy looking on the front,’ the unidentified worker says. ‘It’s face down in the water. Caucasian.’ 

‘He’s fully submerged besides his back sticking out of the water,’ the worker continued. 

‘I had to move a log off of the head to confirm it was a body,’ he adds.

This goes along with what Police Chief John Drake told reporters about the finding of Riley’s body at a press conference last Friday. 

‘As they were removing an object from the river, they noticed what appeared to be Riley Strain pop up. 

‘The medical examiners officer reviewed the body and confirmed that it is Riley Strain.

‘The family have been contacted, there are no signs of foul play at this time according to the examination here at the riverbank. 

Last Friday, the 22-year-old was pulled from the Cumberland River in Nashville after an exhaustive search

Last Friday, the 22-year-old was pulled from the Cumberland River in Nashville after an exhaustive search 

He was found by a worker for a local building materials company that unloads barges at the river

He was found by a worker for a local building materials company that unloads barges at the river

The caller worked with a company called Holcin's located right near the river when he called

The caller worked with a company called Holcin’s located right near the river when he called

‘Mr. Strain still had the shirt on that he was wearing, still had the watch. I want to say to the family my heart and prayers go out to you all for this very unfortunate and tragic incident.’

The Delta Chi fraternity member was in Tennessee on a trip for their annual spring formal when he was kicked out of the bar just after 9:30 p.m.

Strain had told his friends that he would meet them back at their hotel, but was nowhere to be seen when the group returned from their night out. 

His friends tried contacting him, but received no response and they reported Strain as missing as they failed to locate him via his Snapchat location.

Surveillance footage collected by police from Downtown Smoke & Vape Shop on Church Street showed Strain near the intersection of 2nd Avenue and Church Street. 

The seemingly intoxicated student was wearing a two-toned black and brown shirt and blue jeans and took a tumble, then quickly got back up and continued down the street.

Another camera caught near the intersection of Gay Street and 1st Avenue North just before 10pm taking large strides with his head down as he stumbled through the streets.

The student had reportedly FaceTimed his mom Michelle Whiteid that evening, and she said nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Strain, 22, was last seen on March 8 at Luke's 32 Bridge Food + Drink on Broadway, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Strain, 22, was last seen on March 8 at Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink on Broadway, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department 

Officers had been scouring the Cumberland River and a dam in the search for Strain

Officers had been scouring the Cumberland River and a dam in the search for Strain

Authorities said that no foul play-related trauma was observed on Strain, who was last seen on March 8

Authorities said that no foul play-related trauma was observed on Strain, who was last seen on March 8

Whiteid spoke through tears at a press conference on Friday evening. 

‘I just ask that you mommas out there, hug your babies tight tonight please,’ she said.

She echoed the words of her husband Chris, Riley’s stepfather, and the 22-year-old’s father Ryan Gilbert how much they appreciated the support from across the country.

‘Please, for me, just hug your babies tight tonight. And again, thank you. Thank you for sharing our story.’ 

Despite the family’s criticism previously, Gilbert thanked the Metro Nashville Police Department for their efforts, as well as the volunteer United Cajun Navy. 

‘It’s just unbelievable what they’ve done for us,’ Gilbert said. 

Stepfather Chris thanked the entire Nashville community for their help in trying to find RIley.

‘It’s been an emotional roller-coaster. We’re quite thankful for everything that you’ve done for our family. The grace that you’ve given us, it means a lot, more than you’ll ever know.’ 

Michelle Strain Whiteid, Riley Strain's heartbroken mother has broken her silence in a press conference just hours after her 22-year-old son was found dead in a river eight miles from where he vanished in Nashville

Michelle Strain Whiteid, Riley Strain’s heartbroken mother has broken her silence in a press conference just hours after her 22-year-old son was found dead in a river eight miles from where he vanished in Nashville

Stepfather Chris thanked the entire Nashville community for their help in trying to find Riley

Stepfather Chris thanked the entire Nashville community for their help in trying to find RIley

He was grateful to the city, which will be holding a candelight vigil on Gay Street, where Riley was last seen, Friday night. 

‘To the people of Nashville, I can’t thank you enough for the support, the love, the encouragement that you’ve shown myself and my wife,’ Chris said. 

‘You don’t understand how much that meant to us in some of our darkest hours.’ 



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