Jan. 21, 2022: Update on search for Brendan Santo 

Spartan Community,  

We are saddened to share that after more than two months of extensive searching using countless resources and support from so many of you and members of the public from nearly every corner of the state and country, MSU Police and Public Safety has recovered a body believed to be Brendan Santo from the Red Cedar River.  

We continue to believe there was no foul play involved and that Brendan did not intend to harm himself. There also is no threat to the safety and security of our campus. 

Brendan's disappearance on Oct. 29, 2021, impacted many across our university community. While the news today may bring some closure to such a tragic incident, our hearts ache for the Santo family, Brendan’s loved ones and friends. We kindly ask our community to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.  

We want to thank everyone who has contributed in some way to the search efforts to date, including our campus partners, the volunteers who posted flyers across our community and joined the search efforts with us and the Santo family, and every law enforcement agency who dedicated time and resources to bring Brendan home. This entire effort was a collaboration between many law enforcement groups, the family and their resources and countless volunteers.  

We know this news may be difficult for those within our campus community and beyond. It’s important to remember the grief some individuals may be experiencing is normal and there are a number of ways in which individuals can seek support, including talking with friends, family and colleagues to process this. Additional resources include MSU’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services for students and our Employee Assistance Program for employees. Our Residence Education Staff are also available to listen and support our students during this process. 


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. 

Marlon C. Lynch 
Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police