Riley Strain’s family’s personal investigator says the public has been fed a lot of bad information about the 22-year-old's fraternity brothers and their actions the night he went missing.

Steve Fischer’s note on X (formerly Twitter) clarifies why it took so long to file a police report and looks at how the young men have dealt with social media response to the investigation.

  • Strain was a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity at University of Missouri. The group was in Nashville for a March 9 formal.
  • On March 8, he and his friends went to several Nashville bars before he was thrown out of Luke Bryan's Luke's 32 Bridge Bar.
  • His body was discovered in the Cumberland River two weeks later.

Related: Riley Strain's Official Autopsy Answers Key Questions

Fischer says he doesn’t feel Strain’s fraternity brothers are withholding information. They talked to the cops, and he began speaking to them six weeks ago. He describes his six interviews as cooperative and far-reaching, with no lawyers involved.

“I know that several of the fraternity brothers read the social media messages and are very hurt by accusations that they harmed Riley,” he writes.

He then describes how a group of Delta Chi brothers responded upon learning Strain was not back in the hotel, at approximately 1:30AM on March 9.

“(They) began a search in the pouring rain that lasted until about 5AM. They contacted Riley’s family. They then went to the detention center, thinking it was a police station, to file a report.”

This group then walked to a police station on the other side of town and “had no luck filing a report," so they called 911. "They waited five hours for an officer to be assigned from 911, but no officers ever arrived,” Fischer writes.

Finally, the group spotted a police officer arresting someone on Broadway and approached him. After the officer finished the arrest and transported that person, he or she started the missing person process.

Some of this information conflicts with how Strain's parents previously described the fraternity brothers' collective response.

In April, Michelle and Chris Whiteid (Strain's mother and stepfather) described a very casual response to Strain's disappearance. Talking to NewsNation, they said the fraternity brothers waited 12 hours before going to police and were not helpful once the family arrived in Nashville to search.

"We spent the next four, four-and-a-half hours searching every emergency room to see if he was in the hospital," Chris Whiteid says. "We come back and they're coming back, some of them from the party as we're sitting in the truck. How's that make you feel?"

Furthermore, Michelle said none of the fraternity brothers had reached out to her, adding she felt they were holding back information.

Fischer says the opposite and makes clear he has done his best not to allow the family's emotions to steer his investigation.

I honestly do not know if they have spoken to the family or not. That is not how my communication with the family works. When we speak, it is very matter-of-fact, and those are personal issues that I cannot let influence my investigation.

Strain's family has hired a personal injury lawyer to further investigate, although it's not clear who they'd sue, if anyone.

The official autopsy and toxicology report revealed that Strain died of accidental drowning and alcohol poisoning.

Billy Dukes is a Senior Editor and Executive Producer of Video Content at Taste of Country. He specializes in country music interviews, trend analysis and the Secret History of Country Music. Additionally, Billy covers Yellowstone, 1923 and related television shows through the Dutton Rules podcast. To date, he's written more than 13,000 articles for Taste of Country and produced over 3,000 videos for the Taste of Country YouTube channel.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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