Police consider damming Red Cedar River in Brendan Santo search

Search for Brendan Santo is focused on the Red Cedar River
Police consider damming river in search for Brendan Santo
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:53 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University police are considering damming the Red Cedar River to help them find Brendan Santo.

Santo, a Grand Valley State University student, was last seen at Yakeley Hall on October 29.

MSUPD has focused its search for Santo in the Red Cedar River from Beal Street to the west of campus.

It said debris is causing problems for dive teams looking for Santo.

“Even if we do identify an area of interest through sonar and K-9s, sometimes it’s actually difficult to get a diver in that area in a safe manner,” said Chris Rozman, MSUPD spokesman.

The river is about five feet lower than when police started searching for Santo.

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Patrick Lindemann said if police were going to dam the river, now would be the time to do it. However, he said there are some things police need to consider.

“They have to be careful that they don’t ruin the banking or erode the banks,” said Lindemann.

He said the water would have to go somewhere and there’s not much room on campus to divert the river.

“They can divert the water by just using part of the river canal and dam off only part of the river canal,” said Lindemann.

This is done fairly often, especially for maintenance and repairs.

“We had a sewer line that exploded or broke in the river. We had to dam up the river to fix it,” said Lindemann.

The entire process should take about a day, but Lindemann said it would be easier if police know exactly where they are looking.

Related: Michigan State University Police release photos of items Brendan Santo may have had with him

“If the body went way downstream, if that’s what they figure out, that it went way downstream, they might have to do two or three different locations,” said Lindemann.

State regulators would have to sign off before any damming happens.

Brendan Santo.
Brendan Santo.(WILX)
Brendan Santo
Height5 feet, 10 inches
Weight160 pounds
ClothingLast seen wearing gray sweatpants, black shirt, black Red Wings baseball cap and white Converse high-top shoes

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 tips@police.msu.edu.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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