brendan santo

Body Found in Michigan River, Believed That of College Student Missing Since October

A body believed to be that of a Michigan college student missing for nearly three months was found Friday in the Red Cedar River in Lansing.

Brendan Santo, 18, was last seen just before midnight on October 29, leaving a Michigan State University residence hall where he had been visiting friends, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

The body has not been officially identified, police said, but investigators strongly believe it is Santo, who was a Grand Valley State University student, MLive reported.

“It is with deep sadness I inform you that the body believed to be that of our student Brendan Santo has been found in the Red Cedar River in East Lansing,” GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella wrote on the school’s Facebook page Friday afternoon.

Mantella said the school was providing counseling support for students. Michigan State University police said that MSU was doing the same, according to MLive.

Santo was visiting the MSU campus on the weekend of the Michigan vs Michigan State football game and was seen leaving Yakeley Hall late on the evening of October 29. His vehicle was found nearby, but despite numerous searches, no sign was found of the missing teen.

Divers searched the river several times, but a strong current, low visibility, debris obstructions, and depths up to 12 feet hampered the search and prompted a petition urging East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon to dam the river to make it safer for the divers.

But search crews found the body just after noon on Friday, about a mile and a half downstream from where Santo was last seen. Investigators said they have seen no evidence of foul play or self harm.

MSU police said Santo’s family were informed of the discovery and have asked for privacy.

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[Featured image: Brendan Santo/Handout]