Loved ones of teen missing in East Lansing not giving up hope as search continues

Brendan Santo missing after visit to Michigan State University

The search goes on for Brendan Santo, a native of Rochester Hills and Grand Valley State University student who went missing last week during a visit to Michigan State University.

Loved ones, family and friends are not giving up hope that Brendan Santo will come home.

This all despite the teenager being missing now for over a week now.

“Something happened to cause him to go missing and we just need to find out what that something, so we can bring him back” said Dawn Brewer, Santo’s aunt.

The search goes on for Santo, a native of Rochester Hills and Grand Valley State University student who went missing last week during a visit to Michigan State University.

“It’s something that you would never wish upon anybody at all,” Brewer said. “And it’s, you know, we were saying you you see stuff like this and you say, ‘Oh, that’s not going to be us. That’s never going to be us.’ And then when it is, it’s horrible.”

Brendan’s family cant help but feel nothing but pain and uncertainty as they patiently wait for any update as to what happened him. His truck was found where he parked it when he arrived to East Lansing.

Brewer and Santo’s cousin, Brianna Clippert, are holding on to hope that he’ll make a safe return. Santo was last seen leaving Michigan State University shortly before midnight, the day before he was supposed to be going to the big game against Michigan on Oct. 30.

“He was here visiting friends,” Clippert said. “It was literally just right over here at Yakeley Hall. It’s where he was leaving from, but he was staying in the Brody neighborhood. So right across from the Kellogg Center over there.”

Many people have joined in on the efforts of the search. On Saturday, officers were passing out flyers and looking for clues.

“All our focus has been just getting out the word about him having everybody check their phones for any footage they may have taken on Friday night or that weekend at all,” Brewer said.

The hashtag ‘find Brendan Santo’ is gaining traction on TikTok because a video where seemingly all the commenters want the 18-year-old back home.

“One girl who is friends with one of Brendan’s cousins, she actually made the TikTok,” Clippert said. “I think she has like 80,000 likes on the video.”

Police believe Santo may still be in the East Lansing area. That’s exactly why they’ve been searching MSU so carefully.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call East Lansing police.

“We’re just hoping somebody saw something and will come forward and help us bring him home,” Brewer said.

Chase Berden and other students at MSU says it’s a hard time to be a Spartan following the disappearance of Santo.

“I’m just kind of still in shock that no one has any answers or any clues about what’s going on,” he said.

Donavan Hill is 18 himself and only imagine what he’d do if he was in Brendan’s shoes.

“It’s devastating because, being 18, you’re still young, you know? Hill said. “You’ve got so much that you can do with you life.”

Anyone with information on the disappearance is asked to get in touch with police.


About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.