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Body pulled from Red Cedar River confirmed as Brendan Santo

The medical examiner was able to positively identify the body as Santo using dental records.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The body believed to be Brendan Santo was recovered from the Red Cedar River in East Lansing Friday afternoon, according to Michigan State University Police. 

Police were able to confirm the body is Brendan Santo around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The medical examiner positively identified the body using dental records.

Officials say the body was found around 12:30 p.m., about 1.5 miles away from where Santo was last seen.

Police say information is limited while the investigation continues, but that foul play is still not suspected in Santo's disappearance.

University police are asking the public to give Santo's family privacy at this time.

"The Santo family has been informed and we are providing them with as much information and support as possible during this difficult time," reads a press release. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Santo family and all those who knew Brendan."

The Santo family posted a statement on their Instagram account Friday. 

"It is with heartbreaking 💔 news that we share today that Brendan Santo’s body has been recovered from the red cedar river downstream in Lansing. Please respect the privacy of our family and friends as we need space to process the loss of our dear Brendan. This is still an ongoing investigation as the PD and it’s partners determine more details into how this occurred. We will not be answering any questions on this page at this time. Thank you so much for all your support and kindness to bring Brendan home. This is not the outcome we had hoped but we do have closure now. God Bless and sending healing energy to ALL!!"

RELATED: Dive teams continue search for Brendan Santo

Credit: AP
A hearse leaves the area of South Clippert Street and Kalamazoo Avenue with a body they pulled from the Red Cedar River on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 in East Lansing, Mich. A nearly three-month search for a missing college student who was visiting Michigan State University ended Friday with the discovery of a body in the Red Cedar River, police said. Authorities believe the body is Brendan Santo, 18, who was last seen leaving a residence hall late on Oct. 29. (Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal via AP)

Santo, a student at Grand Valley State University, has been missing for more than 80 days, and was last seen the night of Oct. 29. He was last seen leaving Yakeley Hall shortly before midnight.

Police say his vehicle had remained parked in the same spot and that no activity had been found on Santo's phone.

RELATED: MSU president: Security camera at Yakeley Hall not working the night Brendan Santo went missing

Civilian groups formed shortly after Santo's disappearance and combed the area near the Red Cedar River searching for any signs of Santo. 

GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella posted a statement on the university's Facebook page Friday, offering support to both Santo's family and GVSU students.

A message from President Philomena V. Mantella: Dear Campus Community, It is with deep sadness I inform you that the...

Posted by Grand Valley State University on Friday, January 21, 2022

MSU and GVSU students who may be struggling with the news have options. MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services is available 24/7 at 517-355-8270 and the MSU Employee Assistance Program is available at 517-355-4506. GVSU students can contact their University Counseling Center at 616-331-3266.

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