Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Brendan Santo autopsy reveals cause of death as accidental drowning

March 14, 2022
<p>A heart hung on the Beal st bridge to commemorate the death of Grand Valley student Brendan Santo. Shot on Feb. 10, 2022</p>

A heart hung on the Beal st bridge to commemorate the death of Grand Valley student Brendan Santo. Shot on Feb. 10, 2022

Photo by Madison Norfleet | The State News

The cause of death for Grand Valley State University student Brendan Santo was an accidental drowning, according to the autopsy report. 

According to the toxicology report, Santo had a blood ethanol concentration of 0.220% and a urine ethanol concentration of 0.301%. 

Acute ethanol intoxication was listed as a contributory condition to Santo’s death.

On Jan. 21, Santo was found in the Red Cedar River after being missing for over 80 days. Santo had last been seen leaving Yakeley Hall on Oct. 29, 2021. 

The autopsy revealed advanced decomposition changes. No antemortem injuries or natural diseases were identified. 

There was no evidence of any recent injuries. 

In addition, aquatic plant material was growing on all of Santo’s body regions, and rigor mortis had already passed. 

However, the report said, advanced decomposition changes obscured the study of all organs sampled. 

In his comment and opinion, Patrick Hansma, DO, Deputy Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist, said Santo was last seen alive, intoxicated and leaving a social function. His cause and manner of death are in consideration of the known circumstances surrounding his death and the autopsy findings. 



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