A New Zealand man was found dead at Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert last week, with preliminary reports suggesting that carbon monoxide poisoning was a factor in his passing.
Shane Billingham, 33, was found unresponsive in his car, which was parked on a camp site on festival grounds, at around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 29, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. After those nearby rushed to perform CPR on Billingham, he was transported to the emergency care center on the festival grounds, where he was pronounced dead by a doctor working there, according to the outlet.
While Billingham’s cause of death is still under investigation, toxicology reports show that he had enough carbon monoxide in his blood to be “poisonous to human life,” the Pershing Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the paper.
Furthermore, preliminary reports also showed “the presence of controlled substances to be an exacerbating factor,” according to the office, which adds that a full analysis of the findings will take weeks to complete.
The sheriff’s office said that Billingham’s death “remains under investigation as suspicious,” according to a report from SFGate published Sunday.
Steve MacWithey, who runs the Beats Boutique camp where Billingham was staying when he was found dead, said that the man, who he considered one of his best friends, was found unresponsive by pals who had stopped by to visit him, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.
“I miss him. I’m never going to let him be forgotten,” he said.
Festival-goers staying in the Beats Boutique camp honored Billingham’s memory by gathering together and sharing stories about him on Thursday night, according to the outlet.
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