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Police: Private investigator found Brendan Santo’s body on underwater camera, river search executed shortly after

Brendan Santo.
Brendan Santo.(WILX)
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 1:40 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The body of Brendan Santo, who went missing while visiting Michigan State University last October, was recovered from the Red Cedar River on Friday after a planned search of that area was executed sooner then police were planning.

Related: Body found in Red Cedar River, less than two miles from where Brendan Santo was last seen

Santo, 18, was visiting MSU’s campus when he went missing on Oct. 29, 2021. At the time he was last seen leaving Yakeley Hall around midnight. Police focused their search on the Red Cedar River.

Despite searching for nearly three months, authorities were not able to locate Santo until Friday when police received information from a private investigator of his possible location.

According to Michigan State University Police inspector Chris Rozman in a statement, private investigator Ryan Robison, who was working with the Santo family, was reviewing underwater video when he saw what he believed to be Santo’s body submerged in the river and caught at a logjam. That area of the river was reportedly of interest to investigators and a search was planned on Jan. 24, according to police.

Robison reportedly told police of his findings around midnight Thursday, and investigators were “in the water at first lights to begin the recovery process,” on Friday, Rozman said. Santo’s body was then recovered from the river around 12:30 p.m. Friday, about a mile and a half from where he was last seen.

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

Investigators do not suspect any foul play at this time. An autopsy is currently pending.

Rozman said the partnership between the Santo family, Robison, and the community “offered important information and resources” that led to finding Santo.

Read the full statement from MSU Police inspector Chris Rozman below.

More: Body believed to be Brendan Santo found -- What’s next?

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