EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

May 29, 2013

Search continues in Mich. for ex-Div. II champ QB

DETROIT (AP) — One of the winningest quarterbacks in college football history has been missing for days and family members expressed concern he may have suffered "a mental episode," a Michigan law enforcement official said yesterday.

Cullen Finnerty, who led Grand Valley State University to three Division II national titles and more than 50 wins during his four years as a starter in Allendale, Mich., last decade, went missing Sunday while fishing along the Baldwin River, not far from where his family owns a cottage.

Finnerty, 30, last spoke to a family member that night in a phone call in which he said "he was nervous about something," Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts said. Based on that call, the family suspected "he might be having some kind of a mental episode — that he was either afraid or something and ran off into the woods," Hilts said.

The sheriff said authorities had been tracking Finnerty's cellphone "until it went dead." Searchers found a small pontoon boat Finnerty was using to fish, but no other trace of the 6-foot-3, 230-pound ex-athlete.

Searchers will have their work cut out for them, Hilts said.

"This is the last river that I'd pick to fish," he said, citing logjams and dense brush. "And it's a very tough river to navigate."

Searchers from the sheriff's office, state police and area fire departments were fanning out across a square-mile area of Webber Township, about 65 miles north of Grand Rapids.

"We will search until we find him," Hilts said.

In addition, dozens of current and former Grand Valley State players, coaches and staff hopped on a bus and headed north to Lake County to lend a hand in the search effort.

Grand Valley coach Matt Mitchell, who was a defensive assistant when Finnerty led the Lakers to national titles in 2005 and 2006, as well as former GVSU coach and current Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin were among those expected to help.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Russell Simmons, LL Cool J Visit Youth at Jail Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire Despite Moratorium, Detroit Water Worries Remain Faith Leaders Arrested at DC Deportation Protest Family Dispute Cripples Northeast Grocery Chain CDC Warns Travelers Amid Ebola Outbreak US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Demoted Worker Shoots CEO, Kills Self Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Raw: 2 Hurt in NY Trench Collapse House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Suing Obama: GOP-led House Gives the Go-ahead
Latest World News
Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire US Warns Against Traveling to Ebola-hit Areas Raw: Deadly Taiwan Gas Leak Explosion Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Today in History for July 31st Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Graphic Video: 15 Killed at Gaza UN School Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Floodwaters Ravage Villages in Romania Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Photos of the Week