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3 US Marines found dead in North Carolina

U.S. Marines. (Giancarlo Mollicone/Marine Corps Air Station Miramar)
July 25, 2023

Three United States Marines were found dead in a car at a North Carolina gas station on Sunday, authorities said.

The three Marines – identified as Lance Corporal Tanner Kaltenberg, Lance Corporal Merax Dockery and Lance Corporal Ivan Garcia – were found unresponsive just after 9 a.m. at the Speedway on U.S. 17 near Highway 210, according to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said they do not expect foul play, adding autopsy results will ultimately determine their cause of death.  

“My deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of Lance Cpl. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Dockery and Lance Cpl. Garcia,” said Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “Our focus is providing the necessary resources and support to those impacted by their tragic loss as they navigate this extremely difficult time.”

The sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post that officers are investigating the Marines’ deaths.

“The Pender County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of three persons found inside of a vehicle located at the Speedway convenience store in Hampstead, North Carolina,” the office’s statement read. “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.
This is an ongoing investigation. There does not appear to have ever been any threat to members of the community. More information will be released as we are able to do so.”

Elsewhere in the Marine Corps, an investigation report released Friday outlined the problem that is believed to have caused a fatal V-22 Osprey crash last year that resulted in the death of five U.S. Marines.

On June 8, 2022, five brave Marines left the safety of their base on a routine training flight, unaware it would be their last. The V-22 Osprey aircraft, plagued by an unacknowledged mechanical problem, suffered a catastrophic clutch issue, according to

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.