Body believed to be Brendan Santo recovered near Michigan State University, police say

Posted at 1:46 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-22 13:35:12-05

(WXYZ) — The body of a teen believed to be Brendan Santo, who went missing on the campus of Michigan State University, has been recovered, according to police.

Michigan State Police made the announcement on Friday afternoon after several crews were searching the Red Cedar River.

Police said the body was found around 12:30 p.m., about 1 1/2 miles down river from where Santo was last seen. Identification is still pending, and his family has been notified.

Michigan State University said at approximately midnight on Jan. 21, MSU police were notified by Private Investigator Ryan Robison. Robison told MSU police that after reviewing the underwater footage he took, he saw something completely submerged in the water at the logjam where he strongly suspected it to be the body of Brendan Santo. Robinson proceeded to the Santo residence to share the findings with Brendan's family.

Following his findings, Robinson contacted the 911 centers in both Ingham and Oakland counties sharing the location and underwater photo, according to Michigan State Police. The information then resulted in multiple dive resources exploring the shared location. Within an hour of the notification, the area around the logjam was closed off.

"We cannot thank Ryan enough for his relentless efforts." says the school. "We are grateful for the tireless dedication of the Santo family and all of their supporters throughout this investigation. We wanted to state this publicly now that we have received permission from the family."

Santo, 18, was originally from Rochester Hills and was a student at Grand Valley State University. He was visiting friends the weekend of the Michigan vs. Michigan State game on Halloween weekend at the university. He was last seen Friday night, Oct. 29.

Santo was last seen leaving Yakeley Hall alone, walking to Brody near the Red Cedar River. Divers have been in the river multiple times, but the search has been obstructed by debris in the river, a strong current and depths of up to 12 feet with visibility of only 0-2 feet.

Police have said there have been no indications of foul play and said there is no indication that Santo intended to harm himself. They are still investigating.

The search for Santo has lasted more than 80 days and has included several law enforcement agencies, civilians and many more.

Police said the body was taken to a local hospital and they expect an autopsy to be done.