(NewsReady.com) – Members of the Marine Corps are often in dangerous situations while on deployments. And back in the US, training accidents sometimes take the lives of service members. However, a trip to a gas station is generally not a dangerous endeavor like it was for three Marines in North Carolina.
On July 23, at about 9 a.m., deputies with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a missing person. While officers were investigating, they found three deceased men in a Lexus sedan at a Speedway gas station. Three days later, the department issued an updated press release on social media.
According to law enforcement, a woman had called the department on the 23rd to report that her son, a US Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, had not arrived on his flight home to Oklahoma. She said that she had spoken to a supervisor in his unit and said someone was en-route to try to find her son. At the time of that call, the police were already working on another separate missing persons case.
Shortly after that call, someone else called the department and said they’d located the missing person and two other Marines. All three of them were dead.
The victims were Lance Corporal Merax C. Dockery, 23, Lance Corporal Ivan R. Garcia, 23, and Lance Corporal Tanner J. Kaltenberg, 19. The three men died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Though officers aren’t sure how it happened yet, they said it might have been accidental.
Sheriff Alan Cutler issued a statement expressing sorrow for the “timeless and tragic death[s]” of the Marines. He said they “served our country honorably.” He said the department’s condolences are with the families.
The New York Times reported Sgt. Chester Ward said it didn’t appear the three men died by suicide, saying it appeared to be “an accidental death.” Heather Dockery said her son “was a great kid,” and she is “very proud of him.”
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