Three Marines Found Dead at Gas Station Near Base


Three Marines were found dead in a vehicle Sunday not far from their base at Camp Lejeune.

“On Sunday, July 23, 2023 at approximately 9:00 am, deputies responded to investigate a report of a missing person. During the course of this investigation the deceased persons were located,” the Pender County Sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

“This is an ongoing investigation. There does not appear to have ever been any threat to members of the community,” the post said.

The three lance corporals were found at a Speedway gas station in Hampstead, North Carolina, according to The Messenger.

The gas station is about 40 minutes from Camp Lejeune. The Marines were assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2.

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“There’s nothing to believe it to be foul play or anything,” Sgt. Chester Ward said, according to the Port City Daily.

“We’re waiting for an autopsy report, but we have an idea of probably what happened,” he said.

Ward went on to say no drugs were found in the Marines’ vehicle, according to WTVD-TV. He declined to comment about any weapons in the vehicle.

The Marine Corps later identified the Marines as natives of Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Florida, according to WNCT-TV.

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Lance Corporal Tanner J. Kaltenberg, 19, from Madison, Wisconsin was among the victims.

Kaltenberg was a Motor Vehicle Operator who joined the Marines in 2021.

Lance Corporal Merax C. Dockery, 23, from Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, also was found dead.

Dockery was also Motor Vehicle Operator and joined the service in June 2020.

Lance Corporal Ivan R. Garcia, 23, from Naples, Florida, was the third Marine found. Garcia was also Motor Vehicle Operator. He joined the Marines in July 2019.

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“My deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of Lance Cpl. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Dockery and Lance Cpl. Garcia,” Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, said in a news release.

“Our focus is providing the necessary resources and support to those impacted by their tragic loss as they navigate this extremely difficult time,” he said.

Kaltenberg’s military awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Medal, Navy Arctic Service Ribbon, and Global War on Terror Service Medal.

Dockery’s military awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Global War on Terror Service Medal.

And Garcia’s service awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Global War on Terror Service Medal.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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