The Riley County Police Department confirmed that a body found on the Konza Prairie Nature Trail is 38-year-old Warrant Officer Nicole Grothe.

The body was found on July 22, and the results of the autopsy and dental analysis Saturday verified that it was Grothe. She had been assigned to Fort Riley since March, where she quickly earned the trust of her section, according to a press release.

“It is with great sadness we acknowledge confirmation from law enforcement that the body of Warrant Officer Nicole Grothe, one of our soldiers, was found in an area she loved to hike,” said Col. Bryan Chivers, commander of 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. “A self-starter, Nicole arrived to our unit in March and immediately integrated into our operations section.”

Prior to Fort Riley, Grothe served in South Korea with the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Dec. 2018 to Feb. 2020. Her team there is deeply saddened by the loss of their friend and comrade.

“Nicole was an inspirational leader at 2CAB,” said Col. Aaron Martin, commander of 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade. “Her efforts will have a lasting impact on operations within South Korea and on the soldiers she devotedly mentored and trained. She was never without a smile and always willing to help whoever asked it of her.”

Grothe also served at Fort Rucker, Alabama, Fort Drum, New York, and Hohenfels, Germany. She joined the Army in 2007 from Lacey, Washington.

The incident is still under investigation by Army CID and the Riley County Police Department. No foul play is suspected.

“Nicole’s commitment to our unit was instantly evident and we will cherish the time we served with her,” said Chivers. “Our condolences go out to Nicole’s family, friends, and teammates.”

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