Riley Strain’s Death Was ‘Accidental,’ Police Say

The 22-year-old University of Missouri student, who went missing on March 8 after being asked to leave a Nashville bar, was found dead on Friday

<p>Christopher Whiteid</p> Riley Strain

Christopher Whiteid

Riley Strain

Riley Strain's death was "accidental," according to police.

The 22-year-old college student, who went missing earlier this month during a trip to Nashville, was found dead in the Cumberland River on Friday.

On Saturday, the Metro Nashville Police Department said that Strain's death was "accidental" and no evidence of foul play had been found, per local station WKRN.

The Metro Nashville Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

The University of Missouri student was first reported missing on March 8, after he was reportedly asked to leave Luke's 32 Bridge Food + Drink, country singer Luke Bryan's restaurant and bar, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch and NBC affiliate WSMV-TV.

"During Riley’s visit to Luke’s 32 Bridge, our records show he purchased and was served one alcoholic drink and two waters," the TC Restaurant Group, which oversees Bryan’s establishment, told PEOPLE in a statement on March 15. "At 9:35 p.m., our security team made a decision based on our conduct standards to escort him from the venue through our Broadway exit at the front of our building."

The statement continued, "He was followed down the stairs with one member of his party. The individual with Riley did not exit and returned upstairs."

Related: A Complete Timeline of Missing Student Riley Strain's Disappearance

Strain's body was later found on March 22, several miles away from the downtown Nashville area where he was last seen.

"The body of Riley Strain was recovered from the Cumberland River in West Nashville this morning, approximately 8 miles from downtown," the Metro Nashville Police Department said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday. "No foul play-related trauma was observed. An autopsy is pending."

<p>Christopher Whiteid</p> Riley Strain

Christopher Whiteid

Riley Strain

Strain had traveled to Nashville with several of his Delta Chi fraternity brothers for the group's annual formal, Strain's stepfather, Chris Whiteid, previously told PEOPLE.

Whiteid said that his family didn't know what happened until the next day, when they got a call from Strain's friends.

Related: Officials Investigating If Missing Student Riley Strain Was Overserved at Luke Bryan's Bar in Nashville

"I was literally getting ready to tee off on the golf course when my wife called me, and I turned around, went and loaded all my stuff off the golf cart, and told my friend that I was sorry I had to leave," he said at the time.

Efforts to find Strain eventually became widespread as his missing person case garnered national attention. People on social media became invested in the case, and a bank card belonging to Strain was found on an embankment by the Cumberland River on March 17 by two TikTok users.

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Police later found video surveillance of Strain walking near a bridge in an effort to help piece together his path, and local businesses joined in the search effort for the college student by providing their own security camera footage.

Before Strain's body was found, his mother, 52-year-old Michelle Whiteid, recalled in an interview with PEOPLE that the last conversation the pair had on the night of his disappearance ended with "I love you."

"We FaceTimed for a while, and he was so excited," she said. “Then we hung up and he texted me and he was like, 'It was kind of hard to hear you, but I wanted you to see what was happening.' "

"I said, 'Well, you boys be safe. Make good choices. I love you guys.' And he said, 'I love you, too,' " she added. "And that’s it, that’s the last I have heard from him."

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