State News

Autopsy: Michigan college student found in Red Cedar River was drunk when he drowned

March 14, 2022, 4:10 PM

An autopsy has revealed how Brendan Santo died, and it's a too-familiar story on American college campuses: He drowned in the Red Cedar River, likely because he was drunk at the time.

Brendan Santo (File photo)

The 18-year-old Grand Valley State University freshman from Rochester Hills went missing in October during a home-game football weekend, his body not found in the river until nearly three months later, snagged on a logjam. His disappearance sparked searches and pleas for information, but the facts remained that his phone went silent and his credit cards were unused from the time he was last seen, around midnight Oct. 29.

The student paper at MSU, The State News, reports on the death investigation

The cause of death for Grand Valley State University student Brendan Santo was an accidental drowning, according to the autopsy report.

According to the toxicology report, Santo had a blood ethanol concentration of 0.220% and a urine ethanol concentration of 0.301%.

Acute ethanol intoxication was listed as a contributory condition to Santo’s death.

The body showed no signs of injury. 

Santo was in East Lansing visiting friends the weekend of the MSU/U-M football game. 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimate that about 1,519 college students between the ages 18 to 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, data shows, including vehicle crashes. The first semester of freshman year is considered one of the highest-risk times for alcohol-related injuries.

Read more:  The State News

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