Missing College Student’s Last Known Text Revealed As TikTok Sleuths Find Bank Card At Unusual Location

The last known text message from a missing University of Missouri senior who disappeared over a week ago in Tennessee was revealed Monday, a day after two TikTok sleuths found his card near a river, according to reports.

In his final text sent 10 minutes before going missing, Riley Strain, 22, messaged a new girl was he seeing, “Good lops,” according to Chris Dingman, a family friend of Strain’s.

“She said she even had to Google it, she didn’t even understand what that slang was, she thought maybe it was something new they picked up in Nashville,” Dingman told NewsNation. “It was not new…That just kind of showed the state of mind that he was in at that time.”

Strain went missing after he was kicked out of a Nashville bar Mar. 8. He was in Nashville for a conference with his Delta Chi fraternity brothers, according to NewsNation. The bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge, said Strain “was served one alcoholic drink and two waters” but the bar’s “security team made a decision based on our conduct standards to escort him [out]”. The bar added it was cooperating with the MNPD.

A surveillance video taken late Friday after Strain left the bar and shared by the MNPD showed a possibly inebriated Strain bumbling across a street onto a sidewalk near the Cumberland River, then appearing confused about what direction to take, before staggering off from view. Local emergency services said they searched the river on boats and with sonar equipment. The MNPD described the search as “continuous”.

Another video from the MNPD showed Strain exchanging greetings with an MNPD officer who was responding to a vehicle burglary and reportedly was in the area for 45 minutes. “[Strain] did not appear distressed,” the MNPD said. (RELATED: ‘Acting Alone’: University Student Who Disappeared Before Exam Spotted Over 600 Miles From Campus)

Detectives today continue to pursue tips & investigative leads concerning missing person Riley Strain, 22. Strain, wearing a 2-tone shirt, is seen in this video crossing 1st Ave N to Gay St (right to left), at 9:47 p.m. Fri. Have info about him? Plz 📞 615-742-7463. pic.twitter.com/fE86dlqeOC

— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 12, 2024

An unidentified male body was found Sunday in the river, the MNPD said. The body of the “possibly Hispanic” man showed “no signs of foul play trauma” after autopsy. The body was neither Strain’s nor that of a missing autistic 15-year-old Sebastian Rogers, WSMV 4 Nashville reported.

“We have a lot of questions. Every piece of the puzzle we’ve been receiving, it leads down a hundred more questions, you know. We’re no closer to finding Riley,” Dingman added.

Meanwhile, musician and TikToker Anna Clendening, together with fellow TikToker and artist Brandy Baenen, found Strain’s bank card near the Cumberland River Sunday morning, according to WZTV FOX 17 News.

“Something needed to be found. We found something – I don’t know if that’s something enough,” Baenen told WZTV. Both TikTokers also reportedly indicated the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) was understaffed and called for more support for the search for Strain.

“[I]t’s ironic that they’re literally trying to ban TikTok right now, and they’re literally the only ones that has [sic] provided us a solid lead,” Dingman told NewsNation. He and Strain’s parents had the card verified, he added. The MNPD also reported the finding.

Certain homeless individuals also reported sighting Strain, WPDE ABC 15 reported.

Strain was two months to graduation and getting into his desired investment career, Dingman said.

When asked what his response to Metro Nashville Police’s carefully worded assessment that there was no indication of foul play was, Dingman told NewsNation, “I don’t play poker well. It’s very frustrating…I’m not trying to take a dig at what Metro Nashville’s doing. I know they’re doing with what they can, they’re probably short-staffed but we’re eight, nine days in…”

“It’s your worst nightmare, really,” Ryan Gilbert, Strain’s father, told NewsNation.