AN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. Marine Corps has identified all nine people killed when a Marine landing craft sank in hundreds of feet of water off the Southern California coast.
Only one of their bodies was found, despite an intense days-long search involving helicopters and boats ranging from inflatables to a Navy destroyer.
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit said Sunday night that the others, from California, Texas, Wisconsin and Oregon, are “presumed dead.”
Their tank-like amphibious assault vehicle took on water and quickly sank to the ocean floor off San Clemente Island after a training exercise on Thursday.
They include: Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California; Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin; U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California; Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon; Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas; Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon; and Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California.