Wednesday, February 21, 2024

MSUPD expands partnerships assisting with Brendan Santo investigation

November 6, 2021
<p>Volunteers help guide search parties at the MSU Union by handing out maps on what areas have not been searched yet. Volunteers came together on Nov. 6 to look for Brendan Santo, who went missing on campus on Oct. 29. Shot on Nov. 6, 2021.</p>

Volunteers help guide search parties at the MSU Union by handing out maps on what areas have not been searched yet. Volunteers came together on Nov. 6 to look for Brendan Santo, who went missing on campus on Oct. 29. Shot on Nov. 6, 2021.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

On Nov. 6, Michigan State University's Police and Public Safety released an update on missing person Brendan Santo, expanding its partnerships with local, state and federal agencies to assist with the investigation moving forward.

Oakland County and Grand Valley State University agencies are now assisting in the investigation. 

“We have been collaborating with our local, state, and federal partners for several days, and this arrangement formalizes and expands our team while making additional expert resources and personnel available to assist us in bringing Brendan home,” MSUPD inspector Chris Rozman said in an updated press release. 

As of now, the search operation has included searches by foot, helicopter, drone and boat. 

“Our investigators have been diligent in this investigation,” Rozman said. “They’ve interviewed everyone who last had contact or spoke with Brendan, and they’ve reviewed surveillance cameras. They've also utilized advanced investigative techniques. They've reviewed cellular telephone data, smartphone data, GPS data.”

In addition, the data is also being reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI. 

"We have not recovered Brendan’s phone and records show no current activity. We are confident that we have obtained the available information from his digital footprint." Rozman said in a Nov. 4 press release.

MSUPD is now working with East Lansing Police Department, Grand Valley State University Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan Department of Attorney General, Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. 

“Our genuine hope is that with these additional resources and collaboration we will ensure that all investigative avenues are being explored and the work that we have already done can be reviewed by other professional agencies for collective investigative practices,” Rozman said.  

Foul play is not suspected in Santo’s disappearance, and MSUPD has received no other reports of missing persons.

Brendan did not intend to harm himself, MSUPD confirmed. 

“There’s been a lot of misinformation,” Rozman said. “I can confirm that there's no other reports of any missing students on campus. I can confirm that we have not received any reports of any criminal activity related to this. ... There is nothing we have that we have not released to the public that involves this case.”

Santo was last seen on Oct. 29, leaving Yakeley Hall shortly before midnight. It is possible Santo planned to walk approximately a half-mile to the Brody Neighborhood, according to a Nov. 1 MSUPD news release.

Yakeley Hall is located on the north end of MSU’s campus, near Michigan Avenue and Grand River Avenue.

Santo was not a student at MSU and was visiting friends. However, there is no indication he left the East Lansing area. Santo’s vehicle was left in the last location it was parked.

He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, a black T-shirt, a black baseball hat and Converse shoes. Santo is five feet, 10 inches, and 160 lbs.

The Santo family has encouraged community members to continue to keep their eyes open and provide tips or information to investigators. 

They organized a volunteer search beginning from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Michigan State University Union.

MSUPD and their law enforcement partners are also involved in the volunteer search effort. 

“We recognize that this has been a concerning time for members of our community and beyond, and we appreciate the outpouring of support from each of you and your individual efforts to spread awareness about our ongoing efforts,” Marlon Lynch, MSU Vice President for Public Safety, said in an email. “We will continue our tireless search and investigation, and we will do everything we can to bring Brendan home.”

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If you have any information, call MSUPD toll-free at 844-99-MSUPD or email You can also contact Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan at 517-483-STOP.

The Santo family are offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with credible information that leads to bringing Brendan home. 

The reward will be managed through Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan through MSUPD’s toll-free tip line and tip email. 

For resources, the MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is available 24/7 by calling 517-355-8270. The MSU Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is also available by calling 517-355-4506.

Students at Grand Valley State University can also contact their University Counseling Center at 616-331-3266.


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