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Harrowing 911 call reveals moment worker discovered Riley Strain’s body in Nashville river

A 911 call has revealed the moment a worker discovered the body of missing Missouri student Riley Strain.

Strain was found in the Cumberland River last Friday, eight miles downriver from where he was last seen, after he disappeared on 8 March after he was asked to leave a bar in downtown Nashville.

“I believe it to be Riley,” a man tells the dispatcher on 22 March, adding that his company works on the river where he “just found a dead body.”

“What’s it look like,” the dispatcher asked in the audio, which was obtained by WSMV.

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

“It look like a male?” the dispatcher replied.

“Yes ma’am,” he replied. “He’s fully submerged besides his back sticking out of the water,” the 911 caller said, adding his exact location.

Riley Strain, 22, was found dead on Friday after two weeks of searching (Metro Nashville PD)
Riley Strain, 22, was found dead on Friday after two weeks of searching (Metro Nashville PD)

“I actually had to move a log off of the head to confirm it was a body,” he adds.

The dispatcher said they would send someone down to take a look and the call ended.

Strain’s body was finally recovered after a two-week-long mission, actively searching for the missing 22-year-old by authorities, volunteers, friends and family.

Police used sonar-equipped boats to search the waters of the Cumberland River, while helicopters and drones were dispatched to scan nearby river banks.

Strain went missing after he and his fraternity brothers were visiting Nashville for a spring formal trip on 8 March.

He was kicked out of country star Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink, being asked to leave around 9.45pm.

He was last seen out with his friends in Nashville on 8 March (Chris Whiteid via AP/Metro Nashville PD)
He was last seen out with his friends in Nashville on 8 March (Chris Whiteid via AP/Metro Nashville PD)

He told his friends he would return to their hotel, but instead started to walk towards the direction of the Cumberland River.

The man was reported missing in the early hours of 9 March when his friends realised that Strain had not returned to the hotel.

After Strain’s body was recovered, a preliminary autopsy was carried out and said that there were no signs of foul play-related trauma.

His death “continues to appear accidental,” Kristin Mumford, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, has also said, according to NBC.

Authorities said that workers were removing an object from the river when they made the discovery of Strain’s body.

As also described by the 911 caller, police added that Strain was wearing his distinctive black and white shirt when he was found.

Strain’s family thanked all those who helped in the search after his body was found (AP)
Strain’s family thanked all those who helped in the search after his body was found (AP)

Nashville Police Chief John Drake highlighted a disturbing detail as to why it may have taken so long to recover the body of the missing student; a body matching Strain’s height and weight would typically take approximately 14 to 20 days to surface after being submerged in a body of water.

Due to this, police were expecting to find him that week.

On the night that his body was found, residents from Nashville held a candlelit vigil on Gay Street, the last place surveillance footage picked up Strain.

Strain’s family also spoke at a press conference, thanking everyone within the community for their support during the search for him.

“I want to reiterate how thankful we are for everyone and how much we appreciate everyone’s support, love and prayers,” Riley Strain’s mother, Michelle Whiteid, said.

“I just ask that you mamas out there hug your babies tight tonight, please, for me,” she continued.