Former college QB found dead after three day search
One of the most successful players in U.S. college sports was found dead on Tuesday night after disappearing following nervous phone calls to his family. 30 year old Cullen Finnerty led Division II Grand Valley State University to three football national championships as a Quarterback from 2003 to 2006 before moving on to a short professional football career.
Reports state Finnerty had made nervous phone calls to his family on Sunday claiming he was nervous about something and was going fishing before disappearing into a wooded area around Webber’s Township, Michigan.
“It was a nice night on Sunday and we thought, ‘There is a nice stretch of the river,’ and he got himself one of those boats, and he had been practicing on it. It’s a riverboat, a raft, ” father-in-law Dan Brink recalls.
Before he lost contact with family, Finnerty had contacted his wife to tell her he was in danger.
As the search began former and current Grand Valley State University players and coaches traveled to the area to join the search for their former star football player who had more than 50 wins in his college career.
“We were walking a good line. […] I squatted down. We had seen some trail. And a girl shouted. She walked right up on it. I thought, ‘Oh no,'” Scott Boyd, a member of the search party describes finding him dead.
Following his four year college career Finnerty had turned professional as a quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.
Authorities tracked Finnerty’s cell phone to the Webber’s Township area where he had initially disappeared and eventually found his body around 8 pm Tuesday night. A Lake County Sheriff’s department spokesperson reported no foul play was so far suspected in the death, but an autopsy would be needed to determine the cause of death.
According to reports, he was wearing fishing gear and his remains were uncovered half-a-mile (0.8 km) from the spot where he went fishing.
“It’s very chilling. He led me to a national championship as a true freshman, and when I left Coach (Chuck) Martin took over and won two more national championships.
“My heart goes out to the family and his beautiful wife, we’re just praying and hoping and sending all of our thoughts wishes to the family,” former Grand Valley coach Brian Kelly states.
Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, who coached Finnerty at Grand Valley State, said in a statement:
“It’s very chilling. He led me to a national championship as a true freshman. When I left, coach Martin took over and won two more national championships. My heart goes out to the family and to his beautiful wife.”
Ex-Michigan college QB who went missing is found dead; authorities say foul play not suspected
Ex-Mich. college QB who went missing found dead