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Missing Riley Strain’s stepfather says family is having difficult conversations: ‘Put yourself in our shoes’

Riley Strain’s family told reporters that they've begun having hard conversations about the possible fate of the missing University of Missouri student.

It has been nearly two weeks since Mr Strain disappeared from Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge bar in Nashville. He has not been heard from since. There have been no known sightings, no phone calls, and no cries for help.

Christ Whiteid, Mr Strain's stepfather, said he and the rest of the family are aware that, at present, the chances that the 22-year-old will be found alive are slim.

“Put yourself in our shoes. Your family, your brother, your sister – they've been missing for almost two weeks,” Mr Whiteid told ABC News on Wednesday. “Everybody knows it, everybody's thinking it – those conversations are starting to happen.”

The family has consistently said their priority has been to find Mr Strain alive and bring him home. While that has likely not changed, Mr Whiteid admitted that the thus-far fruitless search has taken an emotional toll on the family.

“It's not what we want. And I understand that people want to know what we're feeling – we’re feeling frustrated, we're feeling hurt, we’re feeling depressed,” he said. “Nobody knows what happened to Riley.”

Michelle Strain Whiteid, Mr Strain's mother, told People on Wednesday that the family is “searching everywhere” and assured her son that “we're going to find you”.

Ms Strain Whiteid called Mr Strain her “best friend” during a Tuesday press conference.

The 22-year-old disappeared on Friday 8 March after he was kicked out of 32 Bridge. He and his fraternity brothers were visiting Nashville for the group’s spring formal trip.

Mr Strain told his friends he would head back to their hotel, but he wandered in the opposite direction, toward the Cumberland River. Surveillance video and an encounter with a police officer put him on the streets between 9.40pm and 10pm.

When Mr Strain failed to return to the hotel room, his friends became worried and filed a missing person’s report.

Individuals from two homeless encampments near the river told police that they had seen Mr Strain on the night of his disappearance, but no one saw where he ultimately ended up.

Police have focused their search along the Cumberland River and its embankments. Earlier this week, a pair of volunteers documenting their search on TikTok located Mr Strain’s bank card near the Cumberland River, but it has thus far provided no further insight into the student’s location.