EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Dive teams from around the state and county made a heartbreaking discovery in the search for 18-year-old Brendan Santo on Friday afternoon.
“After an extensive search, MSU Police and Public Safety and our law enforcement partners recovered a body in the Red Cedar river at approximately 12:30 pm in Lansing,” said MSU Police Inspector Chris Rozman.
The body believed to be Santo was found around a mile and a half from earlier search sites on MSU’s campus. The river has been the scene of several public and police lead searches in recent weeks.
“Working with some of our partner resources we did have an area of interest out here in the river that we were specificity interested in. It was a complex and dangerous point in the river to search that took a lot of resources,” said Rozman
What exactly happened will take some time to figure out, Rozman said. The body was transported to Sparrow Hospital for initial examination with identification by the family pending.
“I don’t want to speak for them, I think its a bit early on but its safe to assume a detailed autopsy that consists of a lot of tests would be part of the process,” said Rozman.
The search has taken a toll on not only the MSU and GVSU community, but around the state and country. One Facebook page dedicated to the search as more than 45,000 followers. Rozman said that even for investigators, it was not an easy case to work on.
“We’re glad we could get the family some closure. We’re obviously devastated by the news just as they are. So you know if anything we’re glad we could bring closure to the family,” said Rozman.
As for the family and friends left grieving, Michigan State University sent out an email to the campus community that counseling services are available.
Grand Valley State University is also offering counseling services to its students and released a statement on Santo’s death. That statement can be read here.