East Lansing, MI

Where is Brendan Santo? Search Continues for Teen Missing from MSU Campus

A.W. Naves

Brendan Santo(Photo: Santo family)

18-year-old Brendan Santo went missing just before midnight on October 29, 2021, in East Lansing, MI. The Grand Valley State University freshman was on a weekend visit with friends at Michigan State University (MSU) to attend the football game between MSU and the University of Michigan (UM) taking place on October 30.

According to MSU police, Brendan was last seen leaving Yakeley Hall alone. His mobile phone was last active on Beal Street near Michigan Avenue. It is believed that he was returning to the Brody neighborhood where he was staying with friends.

At around 11 pm, Brendan sent a Snapchat message to a friend saying that he didn’t know where he was. There were no operative cameras in the area, so it is unknown what his location was at the time of the message or which way he was headed and there were no further communications from him. Brendan never arrived back at this friend’s place. They thought he might have fallen asleep in his car but after not finding him there the next day, they reported him missing.

According to information on the Facebook page set up by his family, there has been no financial activity on his bank account since early in the evening on the day he went missing. No Lyft or Uber requests have been logged from him. He has been inactive on all social media. Brendan simply vanished.

According to the State News, a task force has been formed to locate the missing teen. It includes the MSU Campus Police Department, East Lansing Police Department, FBI, Grand Valley State University Police, Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan Attorney General’s Office, Michigan State Police, and Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.

Law enforcement has conducted searches with K9 units, as well as via drone and helicopter. Boats with sonar equipment and certified divers have searched the river that runs through campus grounds. There have also been civilian searches conducted with more than eight hundred volunteers. Rock climbers have searched a ravine area on campus. So far, none of the searches have turned up any sign of Brendan.

According to the Bring Brandon Santo Home Facebook group, none of the items known to be with him that night or the clothes he was wearing have been recovered. He was last seen wearing a black Red Wings baseball hat, a dark grey t-shirt, gray sweatpants, and white Converse shoes. He wore a Celtic cross necklace and would have been carrying his iPhone. He was not carrying his own car keys, but he did have the keys to a friend’s car in his pocket. Neither car had been moved but both have since been retrieved by his family and the other owner.

Brendan in what he was wearing and items he carried(Photo: Santo family)

Because it was a busy weekend in East Lansing and on campus with the MSU vs. UM game and also Halloween weekend, the public has been asked to check their phones for pictures or videos that might include Brendan in the background. Since many may have traveled in for the game or to visit with students, the family has been trying to get a flyer posted in every state. The latest one can be found below.

Missing flyer for Brendan Santo(Photo: Santo family)

Brendan’s family has said that he would not have left on his own accord. On the Bring Brandon Santo Home Facebook page, they describe him as “a good kid with a kind heart and a zest for life. He always has a smile on his face and loves to make people laugh. Brendan is an intelligent athletic young man who loves playing hockey and lacrosse. He is very excited about college and his goal is to get into cyber surveillance or a computer-related field. Brendan has many friends and is close with family. He always goes out of his way to help someone in need and is known for taking younger kids under his wing.”

Anyone wanting to assist with searches can email the family or visit the social media pages set up on Facebook and Instagram.

There is currently a $20,000+ reward being offered for information that leads to bringing Brendan home. Reward information Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan 517-483-STOP (7867).

Brendan’s family has set up a GoFundMe to assist with the cost of searching for him, printing flyers, traveling from their home to MSU, and other efforts to find him.

If you have any information, no matter how small it may seem, please contact the MSU Police Department at 1-844-99-MSUPD (844-996-7873), 517-355-2221, or 911 for emergencies. Tips can be made anonymously by calling the first number or by emailing: tips@police.msu.edu.

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