|'Buckwild' Star Found Dead in W. Va.|
|By JOSH HASKELL (@joshbhaskell)||Apr 1, 2013, 2:20 PM|
Shain Gandee, one of the stars of the MTV Reality Show "Buckwild," was found dead today after he left a bar to go four-wheeling in a rural part of West Virginia.
Gandee, 21, of Sissonville, W. Va., was last seen early Sunday morning at Larry's Bar with his uncle David Gandee. According to the Kanawha County Sheriff's office, the two left the bar around 3 a.m. to go four-wheeling in Shain Gandee's Ford Bronco.
Family members spent Sunday searching for the missing men and alerted authorities late in the day.
Cpl. B.D. Humphreys with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office tells ABCNews.com that roughly 30 hours after Shain Gandee and his uncle left the Sissonville bar, county dispatch recieved a call of a disabled vehicle in a rural part of the county.
Late this morning, deputies used all terrain vehicles to access the area, finding Gandee's Ford Bronco in the mud. Authorities found three bodies inside the SUV, positively identifying two of the victims as Shain Gandee and David Gandee. The third person has not been identified and although the cause of death is still under investigation, there was no sign of foul play.
In a statement, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said the news was devastating for the small town 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."
A spokesperson for MTV released the following statement to ABCNews.com
"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."
On the show's website, Shain Gandee was described as "the sociable and loyal High School Prom King who loves four-wheeling, but loves his parents most of all."
The show first premiered on MTV in January and was criticized for depicting negative stereotypes of West Virginians. Sen. Joe Manchin wrote a letter to the president of MTV before the show aired criticizing it for encouraging youth to misbehave for the camera.
"You preyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying shameful behavior – and now you are profiting from it. That is just wrong," said Manchin.
Some television critics even called the show the "Redneck Jersey Shore," which debuted in the same time slot the "Jersey Shore" once held on MTV.
The cable network announced in February that the show would return for a second season. No word on how the death of Gandee will affect that plan.