Three people found dead in a car at a NC gas station, police identify them as Marines

News & Politics

Police said that three people found dead inside of a car parked at a gas station in Hampstead, North Carolina, were identified as U.S. Marines.

A missing persons report on Sunday at about 9 a.m. led police to the Speedway convenience store where they discovered three deceased people inside the parked Lexus sedan.

After an investigation, police revealed on Tuesday that the three deceased people were Marines who were stationed at nearby Camp Lejeune military base.

“There does not appear to have ever been any threat to members of the community,” said the sheriff’s office.

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Officials said the deaths did not appear to be suicides, and there were no signs of foul play. There were no weapons, illegal drugs or signs of an attack found at the scene.

“It seemed like it was more like an accidental death,” said Pender County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chester Ward.

The Marine lance corporals were identified as 19-year-old Tanner Kaltenberg of Wisconsin, 23-year-old Merax Dockery of Oklahoma, and 23-year-old Ivan Garcia of Florida.

Police were investigating whether carbon monoxide poisoning might have played a part in the deaths. Officials expect that autopsy reports might be completed by Wednesday evening.

All three assigned to Marine Combat Logistics Battalion 2 at the base.

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

Lance Corporal Dockery’s mother, Heather Dockery, told the New York Times that her son had been a “great kid” and that she was very proud of him.

Here’s a local news story about the incident:

Marines found dead in vehicle at North Carolina gas

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