Fallen Marine's body is escorted home to Corona after sea-tank sinking accident that killed 9 troops

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- The body of a local Marine was escorted home to Corona on Wednesday to be laid to rest.

Tears and salutes greeted the flag-draped casket of Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra.

The 19-year-old and other members of his Camp Pendleton-based unit were on a training mission off San Clemente Island last month when their landing craft sank.

In all, nine service members were killed in the accident.

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Cpl. Cesar Villanueva of Riverside was just 21 years old and a newlywed. Sarah, his wife of one month, says her husband was a beautiful soul. "He was more than just a man in uniform. He was a great guy the greatest person I ever got a chance to meet."


They include: Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels Texas; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello; Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin; U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton; 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.

They were aboard an amphibious assault vehicle that was heading back to a Navy ship after a routine training exercise when it began taking on water about a half-mile from the Navy-owned island.

Other assault vehicles quickly responded but couldn't stop the 26-ton, tank-like vehicle from quickly sinking, a Marine spokesman said.

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The Navy has located a seafaring tank that sank off the Southern California coast last week and was working to recover human remains, officials said Tuesday.

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