Search still on for Brendan Santo on MSU's campus as reward rises to $10K

Posted at 5:27 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 05:27:18-05

(WXYZ) — The search is still on for 18-year-old Brendan Santo and the reward for his safe return now stands at more than $10,000.

The Rochester Hils native and Grand Valley State student was visiting friends the weekend of the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game when he disappeared.

Santo's aunt got together a 200 person group to comb through East Lansing on Sunday.

People want to know what happened, and most importantly, they want to bring him home.

Police say his phone was last pinged near Beal St., directly next to the Red Cedar River.

Family and friends are determined to find him, despite having little information to go off of.

"That's probably the most frustrating thing. It's like the police are trying hard but if they don't have anything to go with, it makes it difficult to find a direction to go into," Dawn Brewer, his aunt, said.

Brewer has been on the MSU campus the last two weekends organizing a massive search effort.

There were 200 volunteers looking for Brendan's clothes, necklace, phone, keys – anything that might help find him.

"People are crawling around under bushes and they're looking everywhere and they're trying so hard," she said. "Our family cannot even express how grateful we are that people feel like this for Brendan."

He was last seen walking alone from Yakeley Hall to Brody near the river. Police say it's not an easy location to search.

"We have not been able to search the entire river. The river is vast on campus. We've searched areas that are of particular interest," MSU Police inspector Chris Rozman said. "I do want to emphasize that's not the only place we're looking. We do consider other possibilities at this point."

So far, police and volunteers have been thoroughly searching every inch of campus. Other agencies like the state police and the FBI are also lending a hand.

"We're putting our hearts and souls into this and it's always important that we carry a level of hope when we do our jobs, and we're still carrying a level of hope," Rozman added.

Divers will be out in the river again on Monday. There is a $10,000 reward. ANyone with information is asked to call MSU police at 844-99-MSUPD.