Camp Lejeune
(Cpl. Ginnie Lee/Public Domain)

Mystery Surrounds Deaths of Three Marines Found Near Camp Lejeune

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of three U.S. Marine lance corporals found within a parked vehicle near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, remain unclear two days after authorities first discovered their bodies on Sunday morning.

The Marines, all of whom were assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2 at the base, were found at approximately 9:00 AM on Sunday at a Speedway convenience store in the town of Hampstead, less than an hour from where the three men were stationed.

In a statement provided to The Debrief, the Pender County Sherriff’s Office said deputies were initially summoned to the scene after receiving a missing persons report.

“During the course of this investigation the deceased persons were located,” the statement read. Deputies were able to identify one of the the three deceased individuals as the subject of the earlier missing persons report.

The names of the three Camp Lejeune personnel were released on Tuesday afternoon, identifying them as Lance Corporals Ivan R. Garcia, Tanner J. Kaltenberg, and Merax C. Dockery.

On Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, offered words of comfort to the families of the three Marines.

“My deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of Lance Cpl. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Dockery and Lance Cpl. Garcia,” McWilliams said in a statement.

Currently, authorities have released no additional details about the deaths, or what circumstances might have caused them.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” read a portion of the statement provided by the Pender County Sherriff’s Office.

“There does not appear to have ever been any threat to members of the community,” the statement added.

“More information will be released as we are able to do so.”

Micah Hanks is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of The Debrief. He can be reached by email at Follow his work at and on Twitter: @MicahHanks