SISSONVILLE, W.Va., April 1, 2013 – The Kanawha County, West Virginia Sheriff’s Office reported today the discovery of the bodies of popular “Buckwild” cast member Shain Gandee, 21, his uncle David Gandee, 48, and a third individual, Robert Myers, 27. Shain Gandee had been reported missing on Sunday by family members who called 911 and reported him missing after they were unable to find him.
“We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident” said MTV in a statement issued earlier today. “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 three bodies were found inside a 1984 Ford Bronco discovered along a muddy path “roughly a mile up a dirt road near Wolf Pen Drive” according to MTV, in the Thaxton Hollow area of Sissonville by “deputies and members of the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department.” They employed “all-terrain vehicles” to gain access to the Ford, according to Charleston’s WCHS-TV Channel 8. The cause of death for the three remained undetermined as of 5:00 p.m. EDT today, pending autopsies likely to be conducted by West Virginia’s chief medical examiner. Earlier, the Sheriff’s Office indicated they’d seen no sign of foul play.
According to MTV, Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper commented, “It’s a very sad day for this county… This is a small place and just about everyone in this community knows everybody.”
“Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met,” Carper continued, “and we will miss him dearly.”
According to MTV, “Shain Gandee was one of the most popular cast members on ‘Buckwild,’ earning the nickname ‘Gandee Candy” for his wild stunts and sunny disposition. A second season of the show had recently been given the green light.”
In fact, shooting for the second season of “Buckwild” had begun, but MTV spokesman Jake Urbanski said Monday afternoon it has been suspended. “Buckwild” was reportedly attracting around 3 million viewers to the cable channel per episode during its first season and was the No. 1 original cable series on Thursday night among the coveted 12- 34-year old demographic.
Shain and David Gandee were last seen at Larry’s Bar in Sissonville about 3 a.m. Sunday. Sources reported that the two men said they were going four-wheeling in Shain Gandee’s Ford Bronco. No one knew where they planned to ride, or where.
Neighbor Swanna Frampton, said she had known Shain Gandee since he was a small child.
“He loved to live and have fun. He was a great person,” Frampton said. “He did what (the show) wanted him to do, but he wasn’t like that. He was a real person. If you needed help, if needed something, he would come help you no matter what.”
Seemingly intent on living up to the show’s name, other “Buckwild” cast members have also had their problems recently. Salwa Amin, 24, currently remains in jail on a reduced $100,000 bond, charged with two counts of drug possession with intent to deliver, after a multi-agency task force arrested Amin and two others when they discovered oxycodone pills, heroin, and $3,000 in cash after conducting a search. West Virginia has had serious problems in recent years with drugs particularly involving oxycodone and rural meth labs.
An additional “Buckwild” cast member, Michael Douglas Burford, was cited in February with driving under the influence.
“Buckwild” cast member, Cara Parrish, asked fans of the show to pray for Gandee’s parents, Loretta and Dale. “This is the emptiest I’ve ever felt,” she tweeted online.
—AP contributed to this report
BELOW: MTV video clips featuring Shain Gandee promoting West Virginia-based reality show “Buckwild.”
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