Body of soldier recovered from lake

By The Mercury

The body of a Fort Riley soldier was recovered from Milford Lake on Wednesday afternoon after a long search by rescuers.

The Geary County Sheriff’s Department, along with multiple area emergency personnel, recovered the body of 31-year-old Thomas Hedrick, a U.S. Army specialist from Thebes, Ill.

Hedrick drowned in the lake on Christmas Eve after falling through the ice while duck hunting. Hedrick was a construction maintenance repairer for the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Combat Aviation Brigade.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, yet thankful that our civil partners, particularly those from Geary County, were able to recover Thomas’ remains,” said Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general.

“We hope this begins to bring much needed closure and peace to his family and friends, whom we continue to support during this very trying time,” Funk said.

Authorities suspended the search for him on Christmas Eve because of weather and lake conditions. They resumed on Dec. 28 and halted again on Dec. 29. Crews picked up the search on Monday.

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