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MTV's Buckwild Star Shain Gandee May Have Died of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Update Date: Apr 02, 2013 12:08 PM EDT
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A star of the popular MTV reality television program, Shain Gandee, died on Monday. Though it is believed that he died while "muddin'", investigators are not exactly certain.

According to U.S. News and World Report, Gandee, his uncle and a third person left a bar at 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning. They said that they had the intention to go off-road driving, an activity known as "muddin'" by cast members of the show.

ABC News reports that, on Sunday, family members spent the day searching for the missing men. Late that day, they alerted the police about the individuals' disappearance.

Thirty hours after Gandee left the bar, the police received information about a disabled vehicle in a rural portion of the county. This morning, the police used all-terrain vehicles to access the 1984 Ford Bronco, where they positively identified three individuals in the car: the 21-year-old Shain Gandee, David Gandee and a third person. The Charleston Daily Mail reported that the authorities have since identified to third person to be Robert Myers, 27.

"The vehicle sat unevenly, but upright, and was partially submerged in deep mud," Kanawha Sheriff Department spokesperson Brian Humphreys said to the Charleston Daily Mail. "Mud was covering the lower part of the passenger side door of the vehicle, but the driver's side of the vehicle was above the mud. The muffler of the vehicle was completely below the surface of the mud."

Though officials have not said with certainty, they said that carbon monoxide poisoning appears to be the plausible.

Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas that kills hundreds of people each year and sickens thousands more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Shain gained nationwide prominence in the MTV series Buckwild. Though the series was controversial, with detractors saying that it promoted an erroneous vision of West Virginia, the series was a hit. Its first season premiered in January, and MTV quickly snapped up the series for a second one. The series had begun production this week. It is not clear what will happen to the show now, though people have already called for it to be canceled.

According to CBS, MTV said in a statement, "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."

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