Body found in Red Cedar River, less than two miles from where Brendan Santo was last seen
Teen had been missing since Oct. 29, 2021
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In the continuing search for a Grand Valley State University student missing since October, dive teams shifted focus to a new location. It appears the change may have lead to a breakthrough.
Michigan State University Police and Public Safety announced they, along with law enforcement partners, recovered a body in the Red Cedar River at about 12:30 p.m. The body was found about 1.5 miles downriver of where Brendan Santo was last seen.
MSU says the body is believed to be that of Santo, but positive identification is pending, as is the toxicology report and autopsy.
“At this point, Brendan’s body did go to Sparrow Hospital and is in the possession of the medical examiner and pathologist,” said MSU Police and Public Safety Inspector Chris Rozman. “The medical examiner will make those determinations in terms of what tests will be done and what will be part of the autopsy possess.”
Several teams, including the Michigan State Police Marine Services Division, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team, and Capital Area Dive Team searched near the end of Clippert St., south of Kalamazoo St, near Green Dot Stables. The area had to be cleared of brush and trees in order to get a boat into the river.
Along with the dive teams, the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office assisted Michigan State University Police and Public Safety with the search.
Brendan Santo, 18, was last seen on the campus of Michigan State University’s Yakeley Hall on Oct. 29, 2021 - over 80 days ago. He was on MSU’s campus visiting friends ahead of the Michigan-Michigan State football game.
The area searched is about a mile and a half downriver from Yakeley Hall. Inspector Rozman said the area was being searched as part of an ongoing effort with partner resources, moving west into Lansing.
“We did have an area of interest down here in the river that we were specifically interested in,” Rozman said. “It was a very complex and dangerous point of the river to search and it required a lot of resources to do that based on the location, the complexity of that area, and the entanglement hazards and debris.”
Rozman said the area has had a significant log jam, at the border of Lansing and Lansing Township, that they had talked about for some time, including how to conduct a safe, thorough search.
MSU Public Safety is urging students at MSU and GVSU to utilize the resources available at both campuses for grief support, including MSU’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services for students and Employee Assistance Program for employees.
More on the search for Santo:
- Petition to dam Red Cedar River gains momentum, reward increased to $30,000 in search for Brendan Santo
- Now taking volunteers: Group rallies community to find Brendan Santo
- Group asking anyone on MSU’s campus the night of disappearance for help finding Brendan Santo
- Search for Brendan Santo continues, divers in Red Cedar
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