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Petition calls for more safety around Red Cedar River on MSU campus

Brendan Santo recent photos
Posted at 10:09 AM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 10:09:40-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University has identified the body recovered from the Red Cedar River on Friday as the 18 year-old missing Grand Valley student Brendan Santo.

Now, there's a call for additional safety measures around the river.

Santo went missing on Oct. 29, the weekend of the Michigan State-Michigan football game. He was last seen leaving Yakeley Hall just before midnight.

After weeks of searching involving multiple police agencies and hundreds of volunteers, Ryan Robison, a private investigator working for the Santo family, notified police around midnight on Friday of something submerged in the water at a logjam. Robison discovered the body by reviewing underwater video of the river.

MSU Police recovered a body from the river later that day, approximately a mile and a half from where Santo was last seen.

On Saturday, dental records confirmed the body to be that of Santo.

"This is not the outcome we had hoped," the Santo family said in a statement, "but we do have closure now."

Police say they don't believe any foul play was involved or that Santo intended to hurt himself.

After the discovery of Santos body, a petition was started on called "Make MSU's Red Cedar River Areas Safe."

Rozie Lita started the petition showing a picture of the Red Cedar River near Yakeley Hall on Beal Street with an opening in the fencing that blocks off the river.

On the petition, Lita expressed her concern with the gap.

"MSU needs to put barriers, lighting and signage in place to prevent any further tragedies along the Red Cedar River and the ravine," Lita wrote. "Let's make MSU a safer place in memory of our beloved Brendan Santo."

The petition has a goal of 10,000 signatures.

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