- Three U.S. Marines were found dead in a car parked at a gas station in Hampstead, North Carolina.
- The deceased were identified as Lance Corporals Tanner Kaltenberg, Merax Dockery, and Ivan Garcia, who were all stationed at nearby Camp Lejeune military base.
- While the deaths did not appear to be suicides or the result of foul play, police are investigating the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In a tragic turn of events, three U.S. Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune military base were found dead in a car parked at a Speedway gas station in Hampstead, North Carolina.
The local police made the grim discovery in response to a missing persons report received on Sunday morning around 9 a.m.
Following their investigation, authorities revealed on Tuesday that the deceased were 19-year-old Lance Corporal Tanner Kaltenberg of Wisconsin, 23-year-old Lance Corporal Merax Dockery of Oklahoma, and 23-year-old Lance Corporal Ivan Garcia of Florida.
All three were assigned to the Marine Combat Logistics Battalion 2 at the base.
Speaking to the incident, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chester Ward said, “It seemed like it was more like an accidental death.”
Ward’s statement came after officials announced that the deaths did not appear to be suicides, and there were no signs of foul play.
Moreover, no weapons, illegal drugs, or indications of an attack were found at the scene, assuaging fears of any threat to community members.
Authorities are now investigating the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning playing a part in this tragic incident, with autopsy reports expected to be completed by Wednesday evening.
Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, extended his deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased Marines.
Lance Corporal Dockery’s mother, Heather Dockery, expressed her pride in her son’s service, describing him as a “great kid” in an interview with the New York Times.