The Hollywood Reporter -- Shain Gandee, the 21-year-old star of MTV reality series Buckwild, died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office confirms.
The West Virginia native was found dead, along with his uncle and one other person, in his 1984 Ford Bronco on a remote road on Monday morning, more than a day after being reported missing. Last seen at a local bar late Saturday night, Gandee told friends he was going "mudding," or driving off-road.
PHOTOS: 'Buckwild 101': What to Know About MTV's Redneck Reality Show
Speculation surfaced later Monday that the tailpipe to Gandee's car became lodged in thick mud, which caused a backup of exhaust that killed the trio. The Sheriff's office told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday night that such speculation was "not irresponsible," and now a statement confirms that the death, while accidental, was caused by the carbon monoxide.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gandee's cousin Ashlee Gandee Lewis wrote on Facebook: "I just wanted to let everyone know that the family feels that Shain died peacefully in his sleep without pain or suffering. That it probably was carbon monoxide. They are making arrangement[s] now for his funeral. Nothing is confirmed but they are thinking Saturday."
Gandee and most of his co-stars recently had won a raise for the second season of their hit show, which tracked their rural lives and partying ways. The cast, which earned just $1,000 an episode for the first season, had that bumped up to $4,000 per, with a $5,000 bonus.
Related article on THR.com:
Shain Gandee's Father: 'Buckwild' Star Died 'Doing What He Loved' -- Mudding
_ _ _ _
Find more online: THR.com