- Gandee was one of three people found dead inside a Ford Bronco
- The vehicle was partially submerged; its muffler was covered in mud
- Authorities say there were no signs of foul play
- Gandee was a cast member of the reality show "Buckwild"
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.
"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."
Gandee, 21, was found dead in a vehicle along with his uncle, David Dwight Gandee, 48, and Donald Robert Myers, 27, authorities said.
"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."
In a subsequent release, the Sheriff's Office said the vehicle was partially submerged in mud. It was uneven but upright; its muffler was below the surface.
Mud covered the lower part of the Bronco's passenger side door, but the driver's side, where the younger Gandee sat, was free, the Sheriff's Office said.
He was one of the nine cast members of "Buckwild."
The show follows a group of young adults trying to have fun in Sissonville, West Virginia, pulling stunts such as turning a dump truck into a swimming pool or just riding around the woods on their all-terrain vehicles. Gandee was billed as a former high school prom king who had done "every job from coal mining to being a garbage man."
MTV released a statement about Gandee: "We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident. 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."
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."
Officials said there were no signs of foul play. The causes of death are still under investigation.