Former NFL QB Cullen Finnerty Found Dead at Age 30
On Tuesday evening, Former NFL quarterback Cullen Finnerty was found dead in Lake County, Mich. He was 30 years old.
WZZM 13, an ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, posted the news on Twitter:
UPDATE: A former GVSU coach confirms authorities have found the body of Cullen Finnerty in Lake County.— WZZM 13 On Your Side (@wzzm13) May 29, 2013
Hannah Saunders, who works for the affiliate, also posted that authorities had an exact time of death and additional information about the scene of the discovery:
The discovery of Finnerty's body ends a nearly two-day search by local law enforcement, family members and teammates. He went missing on Sunday evening, reportedly after a fishing trip on Baldwin River.
As reported by the Associated Press via the Detroit Free Press, Finnerty went missing on Sunday after having what friends and family members told police was some sort of "mental episode."
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, who was Finnerty's coach at Grand Valley State—where Finnerty won three Division II national championships—spoke out about the details surrounding Finnerty's disappearance before his body was found on Tuesday evening:
It's very chilling....He led me a national championship as a true freshman. 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, and we're just praying and hoping and sending all of our thoughts and wishes to their family and hope that this matter is resolved in a positive way.
As WZZM reported just hours before his body was found, authorities held high hopes that the search would turn out positive for all parties involved. Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts classified his chances of survival as being high, saying that "a normal person could survive" in the current conditions.
After his success at Grand Valley State, Finnerty signed as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2007, but he was cut before the regular season began. He soon came back on with the practice squad and received a promotion to the active roster for the final two games of the 2007 season.
Finnerty was last on an NFL roster with the Denver Broncos in 2008, before a short stint with the Cineplexx Blue Devils (Austria). Until the time of his death, he was the starting quarterback of the Muskegon Thunder of the Indoor Football League.
One of the winningest quarterbacks in college football history, Finnerty was 51-4 as the starter at Grand Valley State.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, former teammates and anyone else affected by the news of this tragedy.
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