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Reward offered in search for Rochester teen Brendan Santo, still missing in East Lansing

Posted at 8:28 AM, Nov 08, 2021

(WXYZ) — The FBI is now one of many agencies involved with the search for missing Rochester teenager Brendan Santo, who vanished in East Lansing last weekend. Santo was visiting friends, who are MSU students, during the weekend of the Michigan vs Michigan State football game.

Santo is a freshman at Grand Valley State University and a graduate of Rochester Adams High School.

“He’s a good kid. He’s a sweet kid. Shy, but with a big heart," said Brendan's aunt Dawn Brewer.

Brewer has been helping search for her nephew nonstop for the last week, and was in East Lansing Saturday helping to organize a civilian volunteer search committee on campus. The search marked one week since Santo was last seen. He was walking back to a friends dorm Friday October 29 before midnight when he vanished.

“It just seems like he just disappeared," Brewer said. "He left Yakeley Hall and nobody has seen him since, and there hasn't been any information as to where he could possibly be. That’s why we’re searching everywhere.”

Saturday roughly 300 volunteers combed MSU's campus, looking for any sign of Brendan. MSU Police found his car in the same spot he left it last weekend, but still haven’t been able to locate his phone. He also had on a black red wings hat and gold chain when he went missing.

“We just need that one lead so it can point us in the right direction so we can find him and bring him home,” Brewer said.

MSU police say seven different agencies, including State Police and the FBI, are helping with the search, which has included drones, helicopters, boats and dive teams searching the Red Cedar River. Volunteers spent the day crossing off most of the area on their map, but still came up empty.

“Everyone's brain has thought of every scenario from the best to the worst and its horrible torturing ourselves not knowing,” said family friend Brianna Clippert.

Police don’t suspect foul play and don’t believe Brendan intended to harm himself. Family and friends say they’ll continue their search, for as long as it takes.

“I believe in my heart that he is still alive, he’s out there somewhere," Brewer said. "We’re going to bring him home, we’re not going to give up.

The family is also asking for anyone who was in East Lansing for the game last week to check their photos or videos from the weekend to see if Brendan can be seen in them.

There is also now a $5,000 reward for credible information from Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan. You can contact them at 517-483-STOP. You can also contact MSU Police at 844-99-MSUPD or email