Riley Strain’s relatives staunchly believe the missing college student is still alive – and they want the FBI to step in and take over the investigation from the Nashville cops. 

The 22-year-old student from Missouri has been missing for ten days, and his worried family who previously slammed cops for doing ‘a B-minus job’ held a press conference Tuesday.

‘With everything that’s gone in the past few days – we’ve been reached out to and we’ve spoken today with the United Cajun Navy,’ Riley’s stepdad Chris Whiteid said.

‘We feel that we need the extra resources to come in and help us as we try and get more organized for our family and see if we can’t bring some more clues to light.’

The family’s spokesman, Chris Dingman, also said they want the FBI to be brought in to take over from the cops. So far, Nashville cops have not determined what happened to Strain. 

He was seen on surveillance video stumbling away from a bar in Nashville and a homeless person reported Strain was at an encampment the night he went missing. But, his whereabouts after remains a mystery.  

Riley 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 from the University of Missouri had traveled to Tennessee on a group trip for their annual spring formal.

Police crews have searched the Cumberland River near the homeless camp where Strain was reported to have been spotted. 

Now, the ‘Cajun Navy’ is joining the search later this week. The ‘Navy’ is a group that uses its boats to help in rescue efforts following hurricanes and other storms. 

‘We appreciate more than you’ll ever know about the outpouring we have received. Our goal is still to bring Riley home. We feel that is still a pliable goal,’ Whiteid said. 

His parents previously discussed how Nashville cops butchered the investigation into their son’s disappearance, as more clues to Riley’s whereabouts seem to have come from the public than officers. 

‘There have been several leads that have come up from people that are not the police, we’re thankful for that,’ the family’s spokesman Dingman told said.

‘I reached out Saturday evening wanting more people brought into this investigation – the TBI, the FBI, Homeland Security – what if this was a trafficking case?’

Strain’s mother Michelle and Whiteid along with his father Ryan Gilbert also earlier sat down with Ashleigh Banfield on NewsNation to discuss the ongoing search.

‘We had not seen anything or heard from them throughout the week,’ Strain’s stepdad said – adding that they were getting frustrated with the police department’s lack of communication. 

Banfield responded that she was ‘steaming mad’ that she had interviewed a key witness who had still not been interviewed by the police at the time of the NewsNation interview.  

The witness was a volunteer who works with homeless people near Nashville’s downtown, where Strain went missing. She made an important connection several days after Strain’s disappearance. 

Sabrina Martin, who volunteers with nonprofit group Souls United said she saw someone wearing a distinctive shirt just like Riley was last seen in. 

She had been feeding the homeless with a group of volunteers and as they were passing plates and water an individual passed by on a bicycle wearing a dirty hoodie with a very clean white shirt with a black collar underneath. 

He dropped a bottle of water and when he leaned over to grab it, Martin noted how clean the shirt underneath was an even pointed it out to a fellow-volunteer. 

Martin also said it was unusual from a homeless person to be riding a bike.

She encountered the homeless man only a 10-minute-walk from the bar area where Strain went missing.

The volunteer described the homeless man as 6-foot 1-inch white man with a buzzcut and ungroomed facial hair. ‘His face, his neck ands his hands were very dirty,’ Martin described. 

Strain’s stepdad said people who reached out to CrimeStoppers to reporter they were told by investigators that ‘they don’t know anything about a Riley Strain case.’ 

‘We’re struggling, we’re 10 days in,’ Whiteid said – later adding that they’re trying to be patient but ‘time is of the essence.’

The parents’ criticism of the Nashville cops comes after TikTokers found a crucial piece of evidence that investigators and failed to discover over a week after Strain went missing. 

Two women, Anna Clemdening and Brandy Baenen, had been rummaging through trash along the riverbank when they located Strain’s bank card among ‘pieces of clothing, shoes, bottles, cans’ and more, according to WSMV. 

Strain’s father confirmed that police haven’t said anything about the bank card being discovered. 

‘I think it just shines light on the B-minus job that the police force may be doing.’

Police have defended their search efforts and said they respect any evidence the ‘Cajun Navy’ provides.

However, authorities have said that conspiracy theories are not helping in the investigation.  

‘We’ve had people get frustrated with us,’ Det. Anthony Chandler said. ‘We have to weigh every piece of evidence we get evenly. There’s a lot of tips that we are getting that are not tips.’

A family friend revealed he’s heard from a woman who texted with missing Riley Strain just minutes before he vanished. 

Chris Dingman, a family friend, spoke to NewsNation’s Elizabeth Vargas Reports 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. 

Neither Dingman nor the girl appeared to understand what Strain meant by this, describing it as ‘unclear slang’ to NewsNation, 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.’

The department on Monday 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.

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

‘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 OK.”‘

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