Riley Strain’s Death Investigation: Luke Bryan’s Bar Cleared


On March 8, 2024, Riley Strain was last seen bar-hopping in downtown Nashville with his fraternity brothers.

At approximately 9:35 p.m., he was reportedly ejected from Luke Bryan‘s bar and intended to reunite with his fraternity brothers at their hotel. However, when his friends arrived back at the hotel hours later, Riley was nowhere to be found.

After a two-week search, Riley’s body was discovered in a nearby river. Preliminary toxicology and autopsy results indicated that the 22-year-old died from accidental drowning, with no evidence of foul play.

Because he was last seen at Luke Bryan’s establishment, many wondered if the bar had overserved Riley. That investigation has now come to an end.

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Riley Strain Last Seen At Luke Bryan’s Bar


“During Riley’s visit to Luke’s 32 Bridge, our records show he purchased and was served one alcoholic drink and two waters,” the establishment said at the time. “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. He was followed down the stairs with one member of his party. The individual with Riley did not exit and returned upstairs. Our prayers continue to be with Riley’s friends and family during this difficult time and for his safe return.”

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“They quickly provided cops with any and all pertinent information in helping track Riley’s whereabouts when he first disappeared last Friday—including handing over all the surveillance footage they had,” the rep added.

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Investigation Comes To An End

Riley Strain selfie
Facebook | Riley Strain

Months after the two-week search ended, Nashville bars owned by Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and other country stars have been cleared of wrongdoing in the investigation.

“While the circumstances of Mr. Strain’s death are tragic, the TABC investigation into whether he was served alcohol while visibly intoxicated on the night of March 8, 2024, did not result in any concrete evidence in the form of eyewitness testimony or video proof of a violation,” the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission said in a statement to Us Weekly.

Riley was bar hopping at Bryan, Lambert’s, Garth Brooks’s, and Kid Rock’s establishments the night he went missing.

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TABC Investigates Nashville Bars

Riley Strain's Stepfather Says 'Somebody Helped Him In The Water'
The Strain Family

The investigation results shouldn’t come as a shock, as the TABC communication director Aaron Rummage told People Magazine earlier this year, “There are no specific rules or statutes that governs escorting out intoxicated patrons from their businesses or providing assistance in getting someone home.”

“However, state law prohibits serving alcoholic beverages to someone who is visibly intoxicated,” he added. “A violation is a class A misdemeanor. The TABC has opened an investigation into this matter to see if any violations have occurred.”

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Riley Strain’s Body Contained ‘Traces of THC’

Riley Strain in blue long-sleve shirt
Whiteid and Gilbert Family

According to the autopsy report obtained by TMZ, Riley’s official cause of death was drowning combined with ethanol intoxication, classified as accidental. His blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.228 at the time of examination, nearly three times the legal driving limit.

There were “traces of THC” found as well.

“Riley embraced outdoor adventures, whether it was hunting, fishing or simply enjoying the serenity of the lake,” an obituary for Riley Strain read. “Riley’s competitive spirit shone through in tennis matches and his budding interest in the discipline of Jiujitsu. Above all, Riley cherished time spent with family, creating lasting memories.”

“(He) had a passion for good food, from the comfort of his mom’s chicken Parmesan to the zest of fajitas at local favorites like El Rodeo in Bolivar and El Charro in Nixa and took particular pride in grilling a steak to perfection,” the online obit added. “Riley’s warm heart extended to a beloved trio of pets—Miles the golden doodle, Cooper the red heeler, and the German shepherds, Vikka and Vin. They brought Riley joy and companionship.”

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Tributes Pour In For Riley Strain

Riley Strain wearing a black and white polo
Whiteid and Gilbert Family

After police confirmed his death, Riley’s fraternity, Delta Chi and the University of Missouri, released a statement about the late student.

“Our hearts go out to Riley’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time as we work to provide support and resources to all those affected by this tragedy,” the fraternity said.

The University added, “As the Mizzou community mourns Riley, we are keeping his family in our thoughts and offering support.”

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