Video footage missing in Santo case, $11k reward offered

Author Ed Anderson

Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley revealed in a letter that the security cameras at Yakeley Hall were not working when Brendan Santo went missing. 

He went on to say that MSU is working on fixing this issue by installing more than 300 cameras all around the campus. 

The cameras not working when Santo went missing will make the case even more challenging to solve. Security expert Ned Timmons said that the footage was vital to the investigation. It would have given them more people to talk to and a clear idea of what happened when the young man went missing. 

However, Timmons revealed that this isn't unexpected or unprecedented. He suggested that it happened more often than one would expect. 

"In the FBI, I worked bank robberies for several years and, frequently, we would go to a bank that had been robbed, go and pull the surveillance photos and the cameras were malfunctioned and didn't work or they were unhooked. It's frustrating."

MSU police have received assistance from the FBI in searching for Santo.

They have searched by helicopter, drone, and on foot for the missing college freshman. Precious few clues as to his whereabouts have been found so far. However, there are assurances that this does not seem to be a case of foul play. 

MSU police released this statement earlier this week: "At this point, foul play is not suspected in Brendan Santo's disappearance, and we have received no other reports of missing persons. We also do not believe that Brendan intended to harm himself."

Santo went missing on October 29, the night before the big U of M vs. MSU game. He took the opportunity to see some friends. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to his buddies; they affirmed that it was not likely he would have hurt himself. 

He was a native of Rochester Hills. This fall, he started classes at Grand Valley State University, where he was popular with his classmates. Many of whom are concerned about their peer and hope he returns safe and sound.

Timmons assured Santo's loved ones that the missing young man has the best team looking for him and that answers would be found. 

"The family should rest in knowing that they've got an incredible team working on the case. They are very competent and well trained and educated. They are going to get to the bottom of it."

Dawn Brewer, Santo's aunt, echoed Timmons. She revealed that there are hundreds of people looking for him and that they all believe he will be brought home safe and sound. 

"We had to have at least over 500 people searching -- people that we knew about. I know other MSU students were out there just searching, you know ... they're like, 'We know this campus, we know where to look.' The amount of support we've gotten just floors me, that these people have been so amazing and so wonderful to help us find Brendan."

Santo was last seen wearing white converse sneakers, a black baseball cap, and a cross. 

The Santo family and MSU police announced a reward of $5,000 for credible information leading to Santo coming home on November 6. That number has grown to $11,000 with the help of private donations. 

In addition, more community searches are happening nearly every day. The Santo family invites everyone to come help search for Brendan. They also hope that someone with information comes forward and shares it with authorities. 

Anyone who has seen Brendan Santo or knows of his whereabouts is asked to contact the Michigan State University Police Department by phone at 844-99-MSUPD (67873) or by email at

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Ed Anderson is a true crime and gossip writer from Detroit, Michigan. Ed is the author of several true crime books, most recently Cold Cases From Around The World.

Rochester, MI

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