MSU students respond to discovery of body believed to be Brendan Santo

MSU students responds to discovery of body believed to be Brendan Santo
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 10:39 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Dive crews recovered a body in the Red Cedar River they believe could be missing teenager Brendan Santo.

It’s been nearly three months since Santo went missing. Santo -- a student at Grand Valley State University -- has been missing since Oct. 29, 2021. He had been visiting friends at Yakeley Hall at Michigan State University.

Authorities said the next step in the investigation is determining if the body is that of Santo. The medical examination is expected to take a few days.

The weekend Santo went missing may have been the most chaotic weekend of 2021 with Halloween parties, Spartans defeating the Wolverines and the mayhem that ensued afterward.

But it was the news surrounding Santo which changed the way many students operated.

“I remember when we won,” said MSU freshman Ingyana Charles. “There were cars burning and a lot of ruckus going on. It was also Halloween that night, so we had to stay careful -- anything could happen.”

“My friends and I stayed in on Halloween,” said MSU freshman Grace Kula. “It was just so freaky and scary to us not knowing anything about it. We played it safe and stayed home.”

Those on campus were shocked to hear the news Friday. MSU students received an email from President Samuel L. Stanley announcing a body -- believed to be Santo -- was recovered.

The full message from Stanley can be read below.

“It was just a big shocker,” Kula said. “I know, that for me, I felt a big pit in my stomach the whole time about it, so just seeing it finally in writing was just crazy.”

Update: Visitation services set for Brendan Santo

“I’m really glad for the family, because I never thought they were going to find that body since it’s been a long time,” Charles said. “It’s still harsh news that he was not found alive.”

The fear of not knowing what happened the night Santo went missing has compelled some students to take extra measures to stay safe.

“My sorority actually has a Life360, so we all make sure if we’re staying in that we’re keeping an eye on that everyone is OK,” Kula said.

Many students said they’ve been more cautious since Santo’s disappearance, bringing a friend with them or keeping in contact with people to let them know where they are.

Related: MSU launches safety app as search for Santo continues

Police want students to know that there are resources available through MSU’s counseling services, including MSU’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services for students and Employee Assistance Program for employees.

More: Missing in Michigan

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