Soldier's Death In Manhattan Ruled Accidental

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Riley County police say a Fort Riley soldier's death at his home in Manhattan appears to have been the result of an accidental drug overdose.

Sergeant Derek Holgersen, 24, was found dead at his apartment on Kensington Court Friday, May 18, 2012 just before 7:30 AM.

According to police, they received a 911 call about a deceased man. The caller believed Holgersen had already passed away at the time of the 911 call and EMS crews and the coroner confirmed that was the case.

Captain Kurt Moldrup with the Riley County Police Department told reporters Monday that Holgersen's passing has been ruled an accidental death as the result of an apparent drug overdose, based on preliminary reports from an autopsy performed over the weekend.

Moldrup says the soldier had recently moved into the apartment complex and that his body was found by another tenant.

Police do not suspect any foul play.

Sgt. Holgersen was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company,Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Meanwhile, Army officials continue to investigate the death of 21-year-old Private Thomas Lavrey who was killed on Fort Riley last week.

Private Thomas Lavrey, 21, was pronounced dead at Irwin Army Community Hospital at Fort Riley after being found unresponsive inside his barracks on post on Monday, May 14.

Lavrey was a utilities equipment repairer assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

Jeffrey Castro with the Army Criminal Investigation Command's Public Affairs Office in Quantico, Virgina confirmed late last week that Lavrey's death is being investigated as a homicide. Castro declined to release any further details, including how the soldier was killed and whether or not a suspect has been identified or arrested.

BuffaloNews.com in New York reports that Lavrey was fatally stabbed Sunday in his living quarters, according to family members.

Barbara McNally-Lavrey, the victim's stepmother, told the newspaper that the family is awaiting word on when they can make funeral arrangements at Fort Riley and in Western New York.


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