Soldier’s death ruled accidental

By The Mercury

Authorities said Monday that the Friday death of a Fort Riley soldier in Manhattan was due to an accidental drug overdose. Also Monday, a military official confirmed that a death on post earlier last week was being investigated as a homicide.

The Riley County Police Department identified the man whose body was found in an apartment at 3005 Kennsington Ct. Friday as Derek H. Holgersen, 24, who was stationed on post.

RCPD Capt. Kurt Moldrup said Holgersen died due to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, that finding based on the preliminary reports from an autopsy. Police previously indicated they did not suspect foul play.

At the same time, confirmation came that Pvt. Thomas Lavrey, 21, of West Seneca, N.Y., had been stabbed to death in his barracks. Lavrey’s body was discovered a week ago.

The Buffalo News said family members told it that the incident was being investigated as a homicide. Jeffrey Castro of the Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Public Affairs Office in Quantico, Va. confirmed the nature of the investigation.

Lavrey was a utilities equipment repairer assigned to the 1st Sustainment Brigade.

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