Mystery deepens in desperate search for Riley Strain as woman who texted Missouri student 10 MINUTES before he vanished reveals his bizarre last words to her

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Written By Maya Cantina

A family friend said he heard from a woman who texted with missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain minutes before he vanished ten days ago, sharing his bizarre last words. 

Strain, 22, was last seen on March 8 at Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink on Broadway, which is owned by country superstar Luke Bryan, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. 

The Delta Chi fraternity member was in Tennessee on a group trip for their annual spring formal when he was kicked out of the bar around 10 p.m. for unknown reasons. 

Chris Dingman, a family friend, gave an interview on Monday where he revealed the last communication anyone could find from Riley – which was a confusing text to a girl he was speaking with. 

‘She texted him to see how he was doing, if he was having fun. He sent kind of a scripted text back to her saying ‘Good lops,” Dingman said.

A family friend says he heard from a woman who texted with missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain minutes before he vanished ten days ago, sharing his bizarre last words 

Chris Dingman, a family friend of the Strains, gave an interview on Monday where he revealed the last communication anyone could find from Riley, a confusing text to a girl he was speaking with

Chris Dingman, a family friend of the Strains, gave an interview on Monday where he revealed the last communication anyone could find from Riley, a confusing text to a girl he was speaking with

Neither Dingman nor the girl appeared to understand what Strain meant by this, describing it as ‘unclear slang’ to News Nation, with Dingman believing it to reflect Riley’s alleged mental state.

Dingman said that he and Strain’s family are growing frustrated with the inability to find the 22-year-old despite having seen both bodycam footage released by the police on Monday and additional recordings the public hadn’t seen.

‘Every piece of the puzzle we’ve been receiving, it leads us down 100 more questions,’ he said. ‘We’re no closer to finding Riley.’ 

Dingman even praised TikTok and social media sleuths for providing leads in the case, scoffing that it was ‘ironic that they are literally trying to ban TikTok right now.’ 

‘We just want Riley home,’ he added. ‘He’s a great kid. He has a lot going for him.’

In a Facebook post on Monday, Dingman shared further information on what was known to the family, saying that police had taken them to view the bodycam footage as well as video from inside and outside the bar.

‘Several businesses’ offered their own security footage down the route where Riley was last seen.

He also said that Riley ‘was asked to leave not because of a fight, or any type of altercation’ but said he couldn’t give further detail.

'She texted [Strain] to see how he was doing, if he was having fun. He sent kind of a scripted text back to her saying 'Good lops,'' Dingman said

‘She texted [Strain] to see how he was doing, if he was having fun. He sent kind of a scripted text back to her saying ‘Good lops,” Dingman said

Dingman wrote that Riley then went across the street, where he was denied entrance to another bar before going off on ‘his journey,’ as he puts it. 

It was revealed earlier Monday that Strain had a chance encounter with cops on the night he vanished, where he ‘did not appear distressed.’

The department shared footage on X showing Strain walking along the sidewalk past an officer, who appeared to be inspecting a car with a smashed window.

Strain says, ‘How are you?’ to the officer, to which the cop responds, ‘How you doing sir?’

‘Good you?’ Strain says. ‘Good,’ the officer said back. Metro Nashville PD said that it is evidence the student was away from Gay St, the last place he was seen alive. 

Dingman noted that the interview was a sign of what a polite young man Strain is. 

The last person to potentially see Strain said he caused a ‘commotion’ at a Nashville homeless encampment where the student’s bank card was found. 

Nashville police released this haunting image of Strain walking along the sidewalk on the night he vanished, as he asked a cop how he was before telling him that he was 'doing good'

Nashville police released this haunting image of Strain walking along the sidewalk on the night he vanished, as he asked a cop how he was before telling him that he was ‘doing good’ 

It was revealed earlier Monday that Strain had a chance encounter with cops on the night he vanished, where he 'did not appear distressed'

It was revealed earlier Monday that Strain had a chance encounter with cops on the night he vanished, where he ‘did not appear distressed’ 

On Sunday, police confirmed that a bank card belonging to Strain was found on the embankment near Gay Street, which is a three-minute walk from the Downtown Smoke & Vape Shop on Church Street where he was last seen on video.  

‘We heard a commotion. We looked back up. He almost fell over. The last bush right there caught him,’ an unidentified man who lives in the camp told WZTV.

He was very, very, very intoxicated. I never seen anybody stumble that hard before,’ the man said. ‘I yelled get up. They said, ‘He’s just drunk. He’s okay.”

Nashville’s Office of Emergency Management used a dive team for the first time in their water searches on Saturday, but nothing conclusive was found.

On Friday, it emerged that Luke’s 32 was being investigated after allegedly serving him too much alcohol.

The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission said: ‘The TABC has opened an investigation into this matter to see if any violations have occurred.’

In a statement from Luke’s 32 Bridge, they said: ‘We proactively provided detailed information quickly after his visit to our business.

‘This included all security camera footage, photos of Riley, transaction records and staff accounts.

Authorities continue to search for missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain who was last seen on March 8 at Luke's 32 Bridge Food + Drink on Broadway

Authorities continue to search for missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain who was last seen on March 8 at Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink on Broadway

The last person to potentially see missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain said he caused a 'commotion' at a Nashville homeless encampment (pictured) where the students bank card was found

The last person to potentially see missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain said he caused a ‘commotion’ at a Nashville homeless encampment (pictured) where the students bank card was found

A bank card belonging to Strain was found on the embankment near Gay Street, which is a three-minute walk from the Downtown Smoke & Vape Shop on Church Street where he was last seen on video

A bank card belonging to Strain was found on the embankment near Gay Street, which is a three-minute walk from the Downtown Smoke & Vape Shop on Church Street where he was last seen on video

‘During Riley’s visit, our records show he purchased and was served one alcoholic drink and two waters.’

At 9:35pm, the bar said their security team made the decision to escort him from the venue.

Cops made the initial suggestion that Strain may have been overserved on the Friday, when he and his friends hit the town and visited Luke’s 32 Bridge.

He reportedly told his Delta Chi fraternity brothers he would meet them back at their hotel, but was nowhere to be seen when the group returned from their night out.

The next morning, his fraternity brothers tried to find Strain using his Snapchat location but were unsuccessful and called police to report him missing.

His last cellphone location was recorded between Gay Street and James Robertson Parkway close to the bar where he was last seen.

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.

Surveillance footage released by the Nashville police show him wobbling and appearing confused as he crossed a closed road near the water

Surveillance footage released by the Nashville police show him wobbling and appearing confused as he crossed a closed road near the water

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.

Additional surveillance footage released by the Nashville police show him wobbling and appearing confused as he crossed a closed road near the water. 

‘We feel like when he came out, because they had been to a couple of other places, that he had got turned around on the direction,’ Strain’s stepfather Chris Whiteid said.

Strain’s family has said they’re living through a nightmare ordeal as they continue to look for him.

The student had reportedly FaceTimed his mom earlier in the evening, and she said nothing seemed out of the ordinary, even though she knew he was bar hopping.

His mother, Michelle Whiteid, said he’s ‘a great kid’ and normally ‘very communicative.’

‘We miss him and we want him back so bad,’ she told WKRN. ‘He’s always texting me, calling me, FaceTiming me,’ she added. ‘He’s always in touch with me. He’s very communicative.’

In an appeal for information about Riley’s whereabouts, Nashville Metro PD described him as 6-feet6-inches tall, weighing 165lbs with blonde hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 615-862-8600.

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