Cullen Finnerty, a former star football quarterback, was found dead Tuesday night after crews searched for him since Sunday. He called his family members while on a fishing trip at a river most people have described as the last place they’d fish and expressed concerns about feeling nervous. Then he disappeared, according to Detroit Free Press.
Here’s what you should know.
1. Cullen Finnerty Was a Beloved Football Star
Finnerty, 30, was the quarterback for Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where he led the school to three Division II national titles in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and more than 50 wins during his four years on the team. He was extremely liked by his coach and when he went missing 38 players hopped on a bus and went to search for Finnerty. He was even a reserve Ravens Quarterback in his career as a football player.
R.I.P to one of the greatest players I’ve had the honor to play against & 1 of the best players to come out of D2 football #CullenFinnerty
— Joique Bell (@JoiqueBell) May 29, 2013
2. Finnerty Disappeared on a Fishing Trip
Finnerty disappeared while fishing on the Baldwin River, not known as a fishing spot. He called a family member before disappearing, saying he was worried about someone following him and that he was in danger.
3. He Was Found in the Woods
Wearing a camoflauge jacket, Finnerty was discovered around 8 p.m. Tuesday in the woods about a half mile north of where he disappeared. Although there were no signs of foul play, there were visible wounds and an autopsy will determine the cause of death, according to the Daily News.
While search crews looked for their beloved football star, they yelled out to him, “Where are you, quarterback?” Shocked at the discovery of his body, volunteers were frozen in place and grieved on the spot, according to the Detroit Free Press.
4. He Was Having a “Mental Episode”
After calling his family members and expressing that he was nervous about something, Finnerty went into the woods which was thick and dense. It is still not known exactly what caused him to feel nervous, but local Sheriff Robert Hilts said “he might be having some kind of a mental episode — that he was afraid or something and ran off into the woods.”
5. He Leaves Behind a Wife and Two Small Children
Finnerty leaves behind his wife, Jenn Finnerty, and two children.