Students uneasy as search for Brendan Santo continues

‘It makes me feel unsafe’
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 7:31 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Students at Michigan State University are worried after 18-year-old Brendan Santo disappeared from campus Friday.

“This happening definitely makes students want to be with their friends more,” said MSU freshman Vanessa Kilian. “It makes everyone second guess going anywhere alone.”

Santo was last seen at about midnight when he left Yakeley Hall. Police located his car where he left it, but they have not said where it was parked.

Students at MSU said the more it takes to find Santo, the more their fears grow. The situation has made some students reconsider the way they travel across campus.

“It’s definitely an uneasy feeling and something I don’t really wish to have again,” said MSU freshman Kera Volkmer.

Volkmer said she’s wondering the same thing police are -- where is Brendan Santo?

“It’s weird to know that he’s probably around here somewhere and it’s just, we don’t know where he is,” Volkmer said.

Santo, a student from Grand Valley State University, was last seen visiting friends at MSU. Multiple police departments -- including Michigan State Police and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office -- are searching for Santo on foot, by drone, helicopter and boat, but as of Wednesday, they haven’t come up with any answers.

“We continue to search for Brendan Santo on MSU’s campus,” said MSP inspector Chris Rozman. “We’re doing our due diligence -- we continue our search efforts while acknowledging that he’s been missing for over four days now.”

Authorities said they are searching the Red Cedar River to rule out all possible options along the route Santo may have walked before his disappearance.

Police believe Santo did not leave East Lansing.

As the search for Santo continues, students said there are new fears about walking on campus alone.

“It makes me feel unsafe, especially walking at night. Even though I mostly walk with friends or my roommate,” Volkmer said. “It just still doesn’t feel the same.”

Kilian said that even when going out with friends, the situation has reminded them of the importance of communication.

“People went out last weekend and it was crazy. I think everybody is starting to realize how important it is to be with friends in a group and you need to tell people where you’re at,” Kilian said. “Being alone or going somewhere is not worth these circumstances.”

Police said they have not ruled out any possibilities in Santo’s disappearance. His vehicle has been returned to his family.

Anyone who has seen Brendan Santo or knows of his whereabouts is asked to contact the Michigan State University Police Department at by phone at 844-99-MSUPD (67873) or by email at

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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