Milford Lake Drowning Victim’s Body Recovered

Specialist Thomas Hedrick--Photo Courtesy of Fort Riley

Specialist Thomas Hedrick–Photo Courtesy of Fort Riley

Updated 10 a.m. Thursday: Fort Riley authorities reacted Thursday to the recovery Wednesday afternoon of the body of a soldier assigned to the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Combat Aviation Brigade at Milford Lake.  Specialist Thomas L. Hedrick III, 31, of Thebes, Illinois., drowned Dec. 24 after falling through the ice on Milford Lake while duck hunting.

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley’s commanding general says “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, yet thankful that our civil partners, particularly those from Geary County, were able to recover Thomas’ remains.  Maj. Gen. Funk II, adds they hope this begins to bring much needed closure and peace to his family and friends, whom they continue to support during this very trying time.Civil authorities suspended their search and recovery efforts for Specialist Hedrick on Dec. 24 when weather and icy lake conditions worsened, but resumed them Dec. 28 after conditions improved. Efforts were again halted Dec. 29 as the weather again worsened, but resumed again Monday when conditions improved.

Major General Funk refers to the teamwork, professionalism and determination of local, regional, state and other involved partners.

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At 1:22 p.m. January 1 the Geary County Sheriff’s Department recovered the body of Thomas Hedrick, 31, of Fort Riley. Hedrick was the victim of a drowning that occurred at Milford Lake on Christmas Eve.

Multiple agencies assisted with the recovery including: Geary County Sheriff’s Department Personnel, Geary County Emergency Management, Kansas Department of Emergency Management U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Law Enforcement and Parks Divisions, Ft. Riley DES, Ft. Riley PD, Ft. Riley 1st Department Dive Team, Overland Park Police Department Dive Team, Saline County Dive Team.