Three Marines Found Dead in Car Near Camp Lejeune, Foul Play Not Suspected

(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Three Marines were found dead inside a car Sunday approximately 40 miles from near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, according to military officials. The deceased, all assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2 and posted at Camp Lejeune, were identified as Lance Cpl. Tanner Kaltenberg, 19, Lance Cpl. Merax Dockery, 23, and Lance Cpl. Ivan Garcia, 23.


A cause of death has not been established:

Officers with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office found the four-door sedan at a Speedway gas station in Hampstead while investigating a missing person call regarding one of the Marines found.

All three of the deceased were declared dead at the scene, though a cause of death has not yet been released.

“There’s nothing to believe it to be foul play or anything,” Sgt. Chester Ward told local outlet Port City Daily. “We’re waiting for an autopsy report, but we have an idea of probably what happened.”

Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, extended his respects to the families. “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, adding:

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

[The] circumstances surrounding their deaths are currently under investigation,” according to the Marine Corps.


The internet is, of course, ablaze with speculation of foul play, but there is no evidence of that at this time. Meanwhile, no drugs were found in the vehicle.

Last month, four Camp Pendleton Marines were killed in a horrific single-car car accident in Downey, California:

According to investigators, the car was moving at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control, causing the vehicle to slam into a guardrail and bridge abutment of the Lemoran Avenue pedestrian overcrossing. The car split in two upon impact and overturned.

Two passengers in the back seat were ejected onto the right shoulder of the roadway, and the rear portion of the vehicle came to rest about 100 feet south of the front end of the vehicle, according to the CHP.

In May, meanwhile, three Marines were viciously attacked by a mob of teens in San Clemente, California. Five juvenile suspects were arrested.


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