Officials investigate if missing Missouri student Riley Strain was overserved at Nashville bar

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Tennessee officials are investigating whether missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain was overserved alcohol at the Nashville bar where he was asked to leave the night he vanished.

Strain, a 22-year-old student who was visiting Nashville last weekend on a trip with his fraternity for a spring formal, disappeared shortly after was asked to leave country music star Luke Bryan’s bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink.

“We are investigating whether Mr. Strain was served alcohol while he was visibly intoxicated,” Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission communications director Aaron Rummage told NBC News on Wednesday.

Strain was asked to leave the bar at 9:45 p.m. on March 8 and told his friends he was walking back to his hotel, his stepfather, Chris Whiteid, told NBC affiliate WSMV of Nashville. Whiteid said in an interview on “Top Story with Tom Llamas” on Tuesday that Strain never made it back to the hotel.

Metropolitan Nashville Police released security video showing Strain crossing 1st Avenue North to Gay Street at 9:47 p.m. Friday. In the footage he appears to sway and do a full 360-degree turn before continuing to walk.

That cross-section is about 0.7 miles from the bar, and in the opposite direction of Tempo Hotel, where he and his friends were staying.

Rummage said while there are no specific rules or statutes that govern escorting out an intoxicated patron from a business or providing assistance in getting someone home, state law “prohibits serving alcoholic beverages to someone who is visibly intoxicated.” Doing so is a class A misdemeanor, he said.

Luke’s 32 Bridge is billed as the “official restaurant & venue” of singer Luke Bryan.

TC Restaurant Group, the operator and owner of Luke’s 32 Bridge, previously said it was working with police to provide security camera video and other potentially helpful information to aid in the search.

Bryan shared that statement on his Instagram story Tuesday, adding: “Y’all this is scary. Praying for his safe return.”

Police described Strain as 6-foot-5 with a thin build, blue eyes and light brown hair. His family says he is 6-foot-7.

An online fundraiser has been made to support Strain’s family as they traveled from Springfield, Missouri, to Nashville to search for him.

A search has been underway by ground and air and along the riverbank near where Strain was last seen.

On Wednesday, the search included two city office of emergency management boats with sonar technology on the Cumberland River.

An urban search-and-rescue team continued to search along the brush line of the riverbank, checked storm drains and looked in dilapidated buildings, but police told reporters on Thursday there was no sign of Strain.

Metro Nashville Police Sgt. Robert Nielsen said at the press conference there was no sign of foul play at this point and it was still a missing person investigation.

Anyone who has seen Strain is urged to call the Metropolitan Nashville Police at (615)-862-8600.

This article was originally published on