Nashville Lights Up Green to Mourn Riley Strain and Support His Family
Photo via Press Conference

Nashville Lights Up Green to Mourn Riley Strain and Support His Family

Nashville is coming together to mourn the death of Riley Strain, who went missing after leaving Luke Bryan's 32 Bridge Bar on March 8. The city lit up in green, reportedly Strain's favorite color, on Friday night in solidarity with Strain's family.

Police discovered Strain's body after a lengthy search in the Cumberland River. While an autopsy is still pending, the prevalent theory is Strain drowned after falling in. In a Facebook post, family friend Chris Dingman, who's often been the face of the search efforts, thanked everyone for their help. He also explained how moved the family was to see the city light up in Strain's honor.

He said, "What I know today, is the business and city tuning the building lights, business lights, park lights, etc green last night was incredible. Riley got to see how much Nashville loves him from heaven, and I know in my heart he was smiling, because that's just who our boy is ? Thank you to everyone that has been along this incredible journey with us. You all are truly #TeamRiley and will never be forgotten."

He continued thanking everyone for helping out. He wrote, "What I know today, is that the volunteers showed up with out hesitation, and put extreme hours into helping find Riley Strain without ever asking for anything in return, other then finding our boy. What I know today is that when I say our boy, I truly mean that. Each and every person that helped look and search for Riley became our family for life."

Riley Strain's Family Speaks Out

In a press conference, Strain's stepfather and mother shared their own feelings on the discovery. Also wearing green, both appeared devastated as they addressed the media.

"It's been an emotional rollercoaster," Chris Whiteid said. "To the people of Nashville, I can't thank you enough for the support, the love, the encouragement that you've some of our darkest hours. The hugs, the prayers, the offers. I can't say it enough. Thank you."

Strain's mother, Michelle Whiteid, also expressed her thanks for those who aided in the search efforts. "I just want to reiterate how thankful we are for everyone and how much we appreciate everyone's support and love and prayers because we feel them. We've felt every one of them," she said. "I just ask that you mamas out there hug your babies tight tonight, please. Please for me."