The man reportedly had a camp at the festival.
The annual Burning Man Festival began last Sunday on August 25, and five days in, there's been a tragedy in the desert of Nevada. Every year, thousands of eccentric and creative characters come together in all of their free spirit glory to live like happy nomads in the middle of nowhere. As with any event that hosts a multitude of people who come together to live life without boundaries, injuries are bound to arise. However, no one expected for someone to turn up dead.
According to the SF Gate, on Thursday, officers were called to the party in the Black Rock Desert and found a man, dead, inside of the medical tent. The man, 33-year-old Shane Billingham, was transferred to the medical office for an autopsy. There weren't any obvious marks to indicate what caused his death, but the sheriff's office released a statement calling the death "suspicious." However, they did add, "preliminary toxicology showed the presence of controlled substances to be an exacerbating factor. Quantitative analysis of the toxicology will not be available for a few weeks."
According to reports, friends initially found Billingham at his camp and CPR was administered, but he was unresponsive. Billingham reportedly ran a camp at the festival called "Beats Boutique." Friends and mourners have built a memorial in the area in memory of him.
Billingham's death wasn't the only tragedy to occur at this year's Burning Man. There was an accident near the festival after a pickup truck ran into an RV, causing the death of 61-year-old Lonnie Richey of Carson City. Also, three people were injured after the small plane they were traveling in as they were leaving Burning Man crashed near an airport.