SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — A cast member of the MTV reality show “Buckwild” was found dead Monday in a sport utility vehicle in a ditch along with his uncle and a third, unidentified person, authorities said.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. B.D. Humphreys said the bodies of cast member Shain Gandee, 21, his uncle David Gandee, 48, and the third person were found near Sissonville.
Authorities had been searching for the men since early Sunday. They were last seen around 3 a.m. Sunday at a bar in Sissonville and they told people they were going driving off-road.
Humphreys said state police were getting ready to send out an aviation unit to search for the men when authorities received a call Monday morning that a vehicle was found wrecked in a muddy area a few miles from Gandee’s home in Sissonville, about 15 miles outside of Charleston.
Authorities found the 1984 Ford Bronco that belonged to the Gandee family in a ditch with the three men inside. Humphreys did not provide details on the condition of the vehicle or the bodies. He said no foul play was involved.
The terrain in the area was “very muddy, very rough,” Humphreys said, adding that authorities had to use all-terrain vehicles to get to the site.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said the news was devastating for the small community.
“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.”
Shain Gandee, nicknamed “Gandee Candy” by fans, was a breakout star on the show that followed the antics of a group of young friends enjoying a wild country lifestyle. It was filmed last year, mostly around Sissonville and Charleston.
MTV issued a statement saying it was shocked and saddened to learn of its star’s death.
MTV announced in February that “Buckwild” would be picked up for a second season. It said the half-hour series in the old “Jersey Shore” time slot was pulling in an average of 3 million viewers per episode since its premiere and was the No. 1 original cable series on Thursday nights among 12- to 34-year-olds.
Shain Gandee is the third “Buckwild” cast member to make headlines.
Last week, 24-year-old Salwa Amin was sent back to jail for violating terms of her bond after a February arrest. She was charged with two counts of drug possession with intent to deliver and initially jailed on $200,000 bond. That was later reduced to $100,000, but Amin remained behind bars without bond Monday.
Another cast member, Michael Douglas Burford, was charged in February with driving under the influence.
April Fools’ at the White House
WASHINGTON — The White House managed to pull off an April Fools’ prank.
The White House Twitter account announced Monday to be on the lookout for a “special video message from the president.”
Instead, viewers got a surprise visitor to the press briefing room.
The piece began with a shot of the familiar lectern regularly used by press secretary Jay Carney. It was empty as the presidential entrance march played. Then a small head peeked over the edge of the stand.
“It looks like you were expecting somebody else.”
Indeed. It was Robbie Novak, who plays “Kid President” in a series of popular YouTube videos. “April Fools’ on all of you all,” he said.
TBS extends Conan O’Brien’s late-night show
NEW YORK — TBS says it’s extending Conan O’Brien’s late-night show through November 2015. O’Brien premiered “Conan” on TBS in November 2010, some months after his departure from a short-lived stint as host of NBC’s “Tonight” show. He left NBC when Jay Leno was returned as “Tonight” host.
Although “Conan” averages just 900,000 viewers nightly, TBS says it leads the late-night pack in social media engagement and online activity.
“Conan” airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m.
Robin Thicke’s video too hot
NEW YORK — Robin Thicke’s new music video is too hot for YouTube.
A representative for the R&B crooner said Monday that his unrated video for “Blurred Lines” was banned from the website. The clip features nude models prowling around Thicke and rappers T.I. and Pharrell.