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Former Marine from Camp Pendleton found dead in Yellowstone Park, an apparent suicide

July 20, 2010 |  2:52 pm

Kastner A former Marine sergeant from Camp Pendleton who served two combat tours in Iraq has been found dead in Yellowstone Park, an apparent suicide, park officials said Tuesday.

The body of Peter Louis Kastner, 25, was found in a remote part of the sprawling park. An autopsy revealed that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said. He had been missing since May 31.

His parents told park officials that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had twice been injured by roadside bomb explosions. His medals include the Combat Action Ribbon awarded to troops who have been under enemy fire.

Kastner graduated from boot camp in San Diego in 2003, earning a perfect 300 score on the physical fitness test. An infantry rifleman, he served with the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Division that deployed to Anbar province in Iraq.

Since leaving the Marines in 2007 he had moved to Oklahoma City and enrolled in college to study accounting. A funeral is set for July 31 in Chippewa Falls, Wis., where Kastner's parents live.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Peter Kastner. Credit: National Park Service