A candlelight vigil was held for Riley Strain near the site he was last seen two weeks ago.

The vigil was held on Gay Street near the James Robertson Parkway bridge. Strain was last seen int he area on March 8. His body was found in the Cumberland River Friday morning eight miles downstream from downtown.

Friends of Strain’s family said they organized the Nashville vigil as a last goodbye to Riley, a student at the University of Missouri who was visiting the city with fraternity brothers.

Friends of the Strain family, volunteers who had searched the area for the college students and strangers gathered, all standing with candles, in the last place he was seen. They prayed for Strain’s family and everyone his story touched.

“The power of prayer can do a lot. I know the family has big faith, so having the community come out and support them one last time before they head back to Missouri means a lot,” Jennifer Ward, a friend of the family, said. “Through tragedy we’ve seen some pretty amazing things, the family has, and I think that’s what made them strong to help them through all of this.”

Family friends said they planned to hug their loved ones a little tighter tonight just as Michelle Whiteid, Strain’s mother, asked everyone to do in honor of her son.

“The family right now are at the house. More of the family were able to make it in today,” said Chris Dingman, a friend who has been the family’s spokesperson. “Michelle, she’s breathing and she’s with loved ones right now. We have a rough road coming up. We’re blessed because a lot of people are put in this situation, and they never get their loved one back.”

While Strain’s family heads back to Missouri, some of the people they’ve impacted in Nashville said they just want to pass along their sincerest condolences.

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