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Bodies found in car parked at gas station identified as Marines serving aboard Camp Lejeune

Military Bases

Three people were found dead inside a car at a gas station in Hampstead last weekend, and now officials say they have been identified as U.S. Marines stationed aboard Camp Lejeune.

Officials with the U.S. Marine Corps say the men were Lance Corporal Tanner Kaltenberg, 19, from Wisconsin; Marine Corps Lance Corporal Merax Dockery, 23, from Oklahoma; and Marine Corps Lance Corporal Ivan Garcia, 23, from Florida.

Brig. Gen. Michael E. McWilliams, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, extended condolences to the families and said his focus is on focus is providing the necessary resources and support to those impacted.

Pender County Sheriff’s Deputies were sent to the Speedway gas station on Highway 17 in Hampstead early on Sunday after someone reported that there were bodies in a car there. The circumstances of the deaths are still under investigation.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to