July 26, 2023
PENDER COUNTY, N.C. – Officials said in an update on Wednesday that three Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune who were found unresponsive in a privately owned vehicle at a Speedway gas station died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to autopsies performed by the North Carolina Office of Medical Examiner.
“I am saddened by the timeless and tragic death of these three young men, who served our country honorably,” Sheriff Alan Cutler said. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and colleagues during this time.”
The Pender County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately make clear whether their deaths were unintentional or intentional, Fox News reported.
Law Officer article, July 25, 2023
PENDER COUNTY, N.C. – Three Marines were found dead in a car several miles away from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Sunday, according to USMC officials.
The tragedy was discovered the morning of July 23 in Pender County at a location about 40 minutes away from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, according to local reports. On Tuesday, the Marine Corps identified the deceased men as Lance Cpl. Tanner Kaltenberg, 19, Lance Cpl. Merax Dockery, 23, and Lance Cpl. Ivan Garcia, 23, reported Fox News Digital.
All three of the servicemen were assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2 and posted at Camp Lejeune.
One of the Marines had been reported missing to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, although further details were not provided. Deputies found a car at a Speedway gas station in Hampstead while investigating the missing person. All three Marines were found in the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials have not yet released the cause and manner of death, although investigators do not suspect foul play.
“There’s nothing to believe it to be foul play or anything,” Sgt. Chester Ward told the Port City Daily. “We’re waiting for an autopsy report, but we have an idea of probably what happened.”
The Marine Corps did not shed light on the case, and simply said in a statement, “[The] circumstances surrounding their deaths are currently under investigation.”
Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, offered condolences, according to Fox.
“My deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of Lance Cpl. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Dockery and Lance Cpl. Garcia,” McWilliams said. “Our focus is providing the necessary resources and support to those impacted by their tragic loss as they navigate this extremely difficult time.”