Carbon monoxide poisoning blamed for deaths of 3 Marines near Camp Lejeune
Stars and Stripes July 26, 2023
Carbon monoxide poisoning killed three Marine lance corporals found dead in a private vehicle Sunday morning near their home base of Camp Lejeune, local officials said Wednesday.
Lance Cpl. Tanner J. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Merax C. Dockery and Lance Cpl. Ivan R. Garcia were found dead in the car at a gas station in Hampstead, N.C., at about 9 a.m. by Pender County Sheriff’s Office deputies after receiving a report that one of the Marines was missing, according to the sheriff’s office. All three Marines were motor vehicle operators with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, according to the Corps.
“I am saddened by the timeless and tragic death of these three young men, who served our country honorably,” Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler said Tuesday. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and colleagues during this time.”
Deputies received a call just after 8 a.m. Sunday from a family member of one of the Marines alerting them that he had not made it home to Oklahoma on a flight scheduled the previous day, the sheriff’s office said. The family member had spoken with a unit supervisor who had sent someone to try to find the missing Marine, according to the statement.
The missing Marine and the other two dead service members were found less than an hour later at the Speedway gas station in Hampstead, according to the sheriff’s office. North Carolina medical examiners determined the cause of death.
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas produced by burning fuels including in gas engines of cars and trucks, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 400 Americans are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning every year, the CDC said.
Kaltenberg, 19, was from Madison, Wis., and entered the Corps in May 2021.
Dockery, 23, was from Pottawatomie, Okla., and entered the Marine Corps in June 2020, according to the Marines.
Garcia, 23, was from Naples, Fla., and entered the Marines in July 2019, according to the Marines.