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Body found in Red Cedar River confirmed to be Brendan Santo, police say

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Brendan Santo, an 18-year-old Grand Valley State University student, was last seen visiting friends at Michigan State University on Oct. 29. (Photo provided by MSU Police)

LANSING, MI - Authorities have confirmed that a body recovered in the Red Cedar River is that of missing Grand Valley State University student Brendan Santo. Santo was last seen at Michigan State University in late October, 2021.

The body was located after private investigator Ryan Robison notified police shortly after midnight on Jan. 21 after detecting something on his camera that he suspected was Santo's body. Michigan State University Police Inspector Chris Rozman confirmed on Jan. 22 that the medical examiner positively identified the body as Santo based on dental records.

Robinson's camera detected the body at a logjam that is located about 1.5 miles downriver of where Santo was last seen when he went missing on Oct. 29.

MLive previously reported that police put together "multiple dive resources" to explore the exact area pinpointed by Robison and that the body was recovered about 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

Santo, 18, a Grand Valley University student, was last seen leaving Yakeley Hall on the MSU campus shortly before midnight Friday, Oct. 29.

A reward for credible information on Santo's whereabouts rose to $30,000 as time went on since his disappearance. A petition was recently created urging East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon to dam the river to make it safer for divers to avoid debris and search the area.

Students at Grand Valley State University can contact the University Counseling Center at 616-331-3266. Grief counseling services are also being made available to MSU students on campus, police said. The MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Service is available 24/7 by calling 517-355-8270. The MSU Employee Assistance Program is available by calling 517-355-4506

More from MLive

Body found in Red Cedar River believed to be Brendan Santo, police say

To find Brendan Santo, East Lansing must dam Red Cedar River, petitioners say

MSU Police credit private investigator for helping find submerged body, believed to be Brendan Santo

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