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Officials mum about death of local private; West Seneca native found at Kansas base

Law enforcement officials at Fort Riley remained tight-lipped Thursday about details on this week's death of an Army private from Western New York.

Pvt. Thomas Lavrey, 21, a native of West Seneca, was found unresponsive earlier this week in his living quarters at Fort Riley and was later pronounced dead, according to Breanne Walker, a public information officer at the base in northeast Kansas.

An investigation into Lavrey's death continued Thursday, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal, which reported that Lavrey was taken to Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley after he was found Sunday. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Lavrey, whose Facebook page says he was "from Machias, N.Y.," was stationed at Fort Riley since September 2010. He had joined the Army in March of that year.

At the fort, he was a utilities equipment repairman for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, "The Big Red One."

Immediate family members of Lavrey could not be reached to comment. The mother of one of Lavrey's female friends, as well as a relative of Lavrey, told The Buffalo News that the soldier had been shot. The results of an autopsy remained unavailable Thursday.

Lavrey was expected to return to Western New York to visit in July, according to the friend.

Arrangements for a funeral or memorial service were pending.