SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A sport utility vehicle found with the bodies of an MTV reality show cast member and two others inside was stuck in a mud pit with its muffler below the surface, authorities said Monday.
Twenty-one-year-old “BUCKWILD” cast member Shain Gandee, his 48-year-old uncle David Gandee and 27-year-old Donald Robert Myers were found in the vehicle Monday near Sissonville.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Cpl. B.D. Humphreys said the 1984 Ford Bronco’s muffler was below the surface and that mud covered the passenger side. No foul play is suspected.
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.
Shain, nicknamed “Gandee Candy” by fans, was a breakout star of the MTV show that followed the antics of a group of young friends enjoying a wild country lifestyle. It was filmed last year, mostly around Sissonville and Charleston.
Humphreys said the trio was last seen around 3 a.m. Sunday at a bar and they told people they were going driving off-road.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said the news was devastating for the small community near Charleston.
“It’s a very sad day for the Sissonville area and for these families,” he said. “This is a small community, and most of us know directly members of these families. We’re keeping them in our hearts and prayers.”
State police were getting ready to send out an aviation unit to search for the men when authorities received a call Monday morning that a vehicle was found wrecked in a muddy area a few miles from Gandee’s home in Sissonville, about 15 miles outside of Charleston.