US Marines Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Sheriff Says

Daily Report July 27,2023

Tragedy struck on Sunday as three U.S. Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune were found dead in a stationary car.

According to the sheriff’s office for Pender County, officers responding to a report of a missing person found the bodies of the three men on Sunday night inside the vehicle at a Speedway convenience store in Hampstead, N.C.

The medical examiner conducted autopsies on the three men and determined that the cause of death was consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Camp Lejeune Marine Corps identified the three men as Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Merax C. Dockery, 23, from Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ivan R. Garcia, 23, from Naples, Florida, and Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Tanner J. Kaltenberg, 19, from Madison, Wisconsin.

The search for the three men began Sunday morning when the Pender County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Dockery’s mother. Dockery’s mother told authorities that her son was scheduled to arrive in Oklahoma on Saturday night. However, the 23-year-old never got on the flight.

According to ABC 7 News, Dockery’s mother told a 911 dispatcher that she spoke to one of her son’s supervisors, who informed her that a sergeant was on their way to where Dockery’s phone was possibly located.

Deputies from the Pender County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a missing person at about 9 a.m. on Sunday before discovering the bodies of the three men that evening.

“I am saddened by the timeless and tragic death of these three young men, who served our country honorably,” Pender County Sheriff Alan W. Cutler said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and colleagues during this time.”

The commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, extended his condolences to the family and friends of the three men.

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


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