Reality TV star, 2 others found dead in W.Va.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — A sport utility vehicle found with the bodies of an MTV reality show star and two others inside was stuck in a mud pit with its muffler below the surface, authorities said on Monday.
“Buckwild” cast member Shain Gandee, 21, his uncle, David Gandee, 48, and Donald Robert Myers,27, were found in the vehicle 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 expected.
Authorities said the cause of the deaths is 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.
Humphreys said the trio was last seen about 3 a.m. Sunday at a bar and they told people they were going driving off-road.
State police were getting ready to send out an aviation unit to search for the men when authorities received a call that morning that a vehicle was found wrecked in a muddy area a few miles from Gandee's home in Sissonville, about 15 miles from Charleston.
Authorities found the Bronco that belonged to the Gandee family in a ditch with all three men inside. Humphreys did not provide details on the condition of the bodies.
The Bronco was found next to a ridge-top trail that extends through the woods about a mile from Shain Gandee's residence.
Although that section of the trail was passable for four-wheel drive vehicles, the Bronco had somehow ended up in a mud pit next to the trail, the sheriff's office reported.
A bulldozer had to be used to remove the Bronco from the mud. The bodies of the three men were then removed from the vehicle and taken to the county medical examiner's office, where autopsies will be performed, the sheriff's office said.
Toxicology tests likely will be necessary to determine what levels of alcohol and/or drugs may have been in the bodies of the three men.