Three Camp Lejeune Marines found dead in a vehicle outside of a North Carolina gas station this summer were potentially exposed to carbon monoxide through rusted and disconnected exhaust pipes, according to a medical examiner's report released to Military.com on Wednesday.
The three — all lance corporals in the Corps — were found by a fellow Marine after one of them failed to show up to the airport in Oklahoma, triggering a search that led authorities to a Speedway gas station 50 minutes south of the base.
Military.com previously reported that the Marine who found the lance corporals noted the car to be lowered and that the exhaust may have been damaged in some way. The medical report appeared to corroborate that account.
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The three lance corporals were Merax Dockery, 23; Ivan Garcia, 23; and Tanner Kaltenberg, 19.
“The car was noted to be ‘lowered' and it was noted that the exhaust pipes were not connected and rusted,” the medical examiner report said. “It appeared that exhaust from the vehicle would have been released under the passenger cabin of the vehicle and not at the rear bumper.”
The report also noted that the car had been modified “in a way that caused multiple large defects in the exhaust system” and that the air conditioning system did not work properly. It is unclear from the report if one of the…