Mystery surrounds the death of Cullen Finnerty, the former Grand Valley State University football star, who was found dead after a two day search. Finnerty (30) had called his brother-in-law on Sunday from a fishing trip to say he was nervous and wanted the trip to end.
That phone call was the last anyone heard from Finnerty until his body was found on Tuesday at the bottom of a river landing near Baldwin, Michigan, 65 miles north of Grand Rapids, reports CNN. He was found out of the water, one mile from where he was last seen.
Investigators say there are no signs of trauma to the body and they have no leads to follow apart from his final phone call.
Lake County, Michigan, Sheriff Bob Hilts said, “He said he was leery of some things.
“We are not sure what was he was leery of. No one witnessed anything."
Despite an autopsy on Wednesday medical examiners are at loss for a cause of death and will now wait until the toxicology reports are returned. The former football star’s brain will also be examined following his family’s concerns that concussions in the past may have had something to do with his death.
One possible explanation, being investigated, is that Finnerty was left without a ride after the fishing trip left the river.
Notre Dame’s coach Brian Kelly, who was Grand Valley's coach during the 2003 national championship season, said, “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.”
Grand Valley State University students, staff, and alumni were among the search party at Lake County to help. Finnerty led Grand Valley State University to three Division II national titles and more than 50 wins during his 4 years as a starter in Allendale, Michigan, last decade.
Finnerty is survived by his wife and two small children.
Here’s CNN’s report: