The Riley County Police Department has confirmed that an adult female body found at Konza Prairie Nature Trail is 38 year-old Nicole Grothe of Manhattan. Grothe was a U.S. Army warrant officer and had been assigned to Fort Riley since March 2020.
Col. Bryan Chivers, commander of 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, said, "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. A self-starter, Nicole arrived to our unit in March and immediately integrated into our operations section. She embraced our team-of-teams philosophy and quickly earned the trust of her section. Nicole's commitment to our unit was instantly evident and we will cherish the time we served with her. Our condolences go out to Nicole's family, friends, and teammates."
Prior to coming to Fort Riley, WO1 Grothe served in the Republic of Korea with the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
"The Talon team is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and comrade, Warrant Officer Nicole Grothe, who served with our team from Dec. 2018 to Feb. 2020," said Col. Aaron Martin, commander of 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade. "Nicole was an inspirational leader at 2CAB. During her time in South Korea, she was the subject matter expert within the Air Defense Airspace Management cell within the brigade headquarters and also served as an Air Traffic and Airspace Management Technician in F Company, 3-2 Ground Support Aviation Brigade. She was instrumental in the refurbishment of TAIS (Tactical Airspace Integration System) shelters within 2nd Infantry ROK/US Combined Division and in the planning and execution of the 8th Army 75th Birthday Celebration. 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 previously served at Fort Rucker, AL; Fort Drum, NY; and Hohenfels, Germany. She entered the Army in 2007 from Lacey, Washington.
The incident is under investigation by Army Criminal Investigative Division and the Riley County Police Department.