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3 Marines found dead in car near Camp Lejeune

The service members were found in a car in Hampstead, North Carolina. That's about an hour from Camp Lejeune.
Cars entering the main gate at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-25 17:55:24-04

Three U.S. Marines were found dead in a car that was parked at a gas station in the coastal community of Hampstead, North Carolina about an hour away from Camp Lejeune. 

The three men were found over the weekend. They were identified as 19-year-old Lance Corporal Tanner J. Kaltenberg, from Madison, Wisconsin, 23-year-old Lance Corporal Merax C. Dockery, from Pottawatomie, Oklahoma and 23-year-old Lance Corporal Ivan R. Garcia, from Naples, Florida.

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The Pender County Sheriff's Office said there did not appear to have "ever been any threat" to the community. Police were called to investigate a missing person case when they later found the bodies. 

Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group said, "Our focus is providing the necessary resources and support to those impacted by their tragic loss as they navigate this extremely difficult time."

"My deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of Lance Cpl. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Dockery and Lance Cpl. Garcia," he said. 

Sgt. Chester Ward told the Port City Daily that they don't believe there was any foul play, but said, "We're waiting for an autopsy report, but we have an idea of probably what happened."

The U.S. Marine Corps said the three men were pronounced dead on Sunday by a medical authority.