Shain Gandee, one of the stars of the MTV reality show “Buckwild,” has been found dead along with two other people in Kanawha County, West Virginia, authorities said Monday.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. B.D. Humphreys says the 21-year-old, his uncle David Gandee, 48, and the third man were found Monday near Sissonville.
The third body was identified late Monday as that of Donald Robert Myers, 27, another Sissonville area resident.
Authorities had been searching for the men since early Sunday morning. They were last seen around 3 a.m. Sunday at a bar in Sissonville and they told people they were going driving off-road.
“Earlier this day after releasing information Shain Gandee was missing, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office received word of a disabled vehicle in a wooded area near Thaxton Hollow, Sissonville, Kanawha County WV,” said a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
“Deputies and members of the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department used all terrain vehicles to access that vehicle, a 1984 Ford Bronco belonging to the Gandee family. The vehicle was in a muddy area along a worn path. Inside were the bodies of three people.”
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said the news was devastating for the small community near Charleston.
“This is a very sad and tragic event,” Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper said. “We live in a very small community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gandee family.”
Authorities said the cause of the deaths was still under investigation and they refused to speculate on what happened. If the muffler was submerged and the engine kept running, it’s possible the cabin of the vehicle could have filled with fatal carbon monoxide from the exhaust.
“We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident,” a spokesperson for MTV said in a statement.
“We are waiting for more information but at this time, our main concern is for the Gandee family and their friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
“Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met and we will miss him dearly.”
The network announced in February that it had ordered a second season of “Buckwild.” It said the half-hour series in the old “Jersey Shore” time slot was pulling in an average of 3 million viewers per episode since its premiere and was the No. 1 original cable series on Thursday nights among 12- to 34-year-olds, reports CBS News.
“Buckwild” premiered on MTV in January and follows nine friends in Sissonville and Charleston, West Virginia.Shain, nicknamed “Gandee Candy” by fans, was a breakout star of the show, which was filmed last year, mostly around Sissonville and Charleston.
Many of its rowdy exploits were his idea. In one episode, he turned a dump truck into a swimming pool, says Fox News.
Some of Gandee’s castmates took to social media to express their feelings.
“RIP Shain Gandee,” cast member Ashley Whitt tweeted. “You were the most amazing person I’ve ever known. I know you will be watching over …”
“This is the emptiest I’ve ever felt,” Cara Parrish tweeted. “Please pray for Dale and Loretta [Gandee’s parents].”
“Buckwild” has been compared to MTV’s reality show “Jersey Shore,” and on Monday, one of that show’s stars, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, tweeted, “That’s awful that shain passed… He was just a baby. Rip. #Buckwild.”