The Pender County Sheriff's Office said deputies were responding to a report of a missing person when they found the three Marines early Sunday at a Speedway convenience store along a highway in Hampstead, North Carolina, about 30 miles south of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
A woman called the office that morning indicating that her son, a Marine, had failed to arrive on a flight in Oklahoma the night prior, the sheriff's office said.
"The caller indicated that she had spoken with a supervisor in his unit and that someone was en route to the location to see if they could locate the missing person," the office said.
The woman knew to direct deputies to the gas station because she had pinged her son's phone to find its location, according to Sgt. Chester Ward, spokesperson for the sheriff's office.
At the time, sheriff's deputies were also working on a separate missing person report, the office said.
The office said it received a second call later that morning indicating the missing person had been located at the Speedway and that he, along with two other Marines, was deceased inside of a car.
The North Carolina Office of Medical Examiner performed the autopsies Wednesday, the sheriff's office said.
Ward said he did not know how long the car had been parked at the gas station before it was found or if there were any problems with the car. He said he also did not know where the Marines were headed.
This story is captivating me because my dad and I were actually having a carbon monoxide discussion a week ago, and he told me that he believes that carbon monoxide doesn't instantly kill you. It takes time. And everything I've seen online seems to line up with that.
So I can't for the life of me figure out what could have happened to these marines. Not even one of them felt that something was wrong, started feeling sick?
Something seems off.