Baldwin, Michigan. Cullen Finnerty, the former National Football League (NFL) player who was reported missing Sunday night, has been found dead.
Finnerty spent the holiday weekend with his family their cabin near Bray State Forest, northeast of Baldwin.
“We had brats and hamburgers on Saturday and grilled chicken on Sunday,” said Dan Brink, Finnerty’s father-in-law. “Everything was cool. It was a great weekend. We had a lot of smiles, a lot of laughs. There were no indications. There were no problems.” (usatoday.com)
Then, Finnerty went fishing alone on Sunday night. He called his wife to say he was in danger; she was concerned he might be having some kind of mental episode. He sounded nervous, that he was either afraid or something and ran off into the woods. That was the last he was heard from.
The sheriff’s department tracked Finnerty’s cellphone until it went dead.
Approximately 100 former and current football players and coaches from Grand Valley State showed up to search for the former NFL player; they looked for Finnerty until his body was found.
“‘We were walking a good line,’ said Scott Boyd, who was on the search party that found the body. ‘I squatted down. We had seen some trail. And a girl shouted. She walked right up on it. I thought, ‘Oh no.’” (usatoday.com)
Finnerty’s body was found with fishing waders and a camouflaged jacket, with no signs of obvious trauma. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
He was only a half of a mile from where he originally disappeared from on his fishing trip.
Finnerty was signed to the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2007, but was released by the team in July before the preseason. He re-signed to the practice squad during the season and was promoted to the active roster for the final two games after Kyle Boller had an injury.
In March 2008, Finnerty signed to the Denver Broncos; and in June, he was placed on waivers by them.
Finnerty joined the Muskegon Thunder of the CIFL as the starting quarterback; in 2009, he had 123 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns with a completion percentage of 46.9 for Indoor Football League season.
Finnerty is survived by his wife and two small children.
By Dawn Cranfield
Senior Correspondent / Product Specialist