3 found dead in car at North Carolina gas station are identified as Marines stationed nearby

The Camp Lejeune by night at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on October 28. (Photo by Fred Marie/Art In All Of Us/Corbis via Getty Images)

Three men who were found dead over the weekend at a North Carolina gas station have been identified as Marine lance corporals stationed at nearby Camp Lejeune, the U.S. Marine Corps said Tuesday.

Deputies from the Pender County Sheriff’s Office found the three men unresponsive Sunday morning in a privately owned car at a Speedway gas station in Hampstead — 29 miles (47 kilometers) southwest of the base — while responding to a missing-person call, the department said in a statement. Medical authorities pronounced all three dead the same day.

Their cause of death has not been released, and the Pender County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. A spokesperson did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday.

The U.S. Marine Corps identified the men as Tanner J. Kaltenberg, 19, of Madison, Wisconsin; Merax C. Dockery, 23, of Pottawatomie, Oklahoma; and Ivan R. Garcia, 23, of Naples, Florida. The men were motor vehicle operators with the Combat Logistics Battalion 2, Combat Logistics Regiment 2 and 2nd Marine Logistics Group at Camp Lejeune, said First Lt. Raymond Fullbright, of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

"My deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of Lance Cpl. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Dockery and Lance Cpl. Garcia," said Brig. Gen. Michael McWilliams, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group. "Our focus is providing the necessary resources and support to those impacted by their tragic loss as they navigate this extremely difficult time."