PENDER COUNTY — Officials released the cause of death for three Marines found dead in a Hampstead vehicle.
Pender County Sheriff’s Office said autopsies performed by the North Carolina Office of the Medical Examiner revealed Tanner Kaltenberg, Merax Dockery and Ivan Garcia died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Law enforcement originally responded to the Speedway at 14477 U.S. 17 in Hampstead on Sunday morning regarding a missing person.
A caller indicated her son was a United States Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, who failed to arrive on a flight to Oklahoma the night prior. The mother said she had spoken with her son’s supervisor and someone was headed to the Speedway location to see if they could locate the missing person.
When the mother’s call came in, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office was working a separate missing person report.
About 40 minutes after the call, the three men were located at the gas station.
“I am saddened by the timeless and tragic death of these three young men, who served our country honorably,” Sheriff Alan Cutler said in a release. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and colleagues during this time.”
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