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Ex-star QB found dead after going missing during fishing trip

Cullen Finnerty

Cullen Finnerty

The body of former Grand Valley State quarterback Cullen Finnerty was found Tuesday in a wooded area near where he had disappeared Sunday northeast of Baldwin, Mich., according to police.

Robert Hilts of the Lake County Sheriff's Department confirmed Finnerty's death. Search parties that included former teammates who had scoured the area made the discovery in thick, swampy woods about 65 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.

Finnerty was spending the holiday weekend with family at a cabin and had decided to go fishing on the Baldwin River. He called his wife to say he was in danger and then disappeared, Hilts said. Authorities found his boat without fishing equipment.

"We had brats and hamburgers on Saturday and grilled chicken on Sunday," said Dan Brink, Finnerty's father-in-law, according to USA Today. "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."

Finnerty started at quarterback on Grand Valley's Division II national championship teams in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

After his graduation, he joined the Ravens. Finnerty never got into a regular season game, though -- as the Baltimore Sun reported -- he was called up from the practice squad and put on the Ravens' active roster in December 2007.

The Denver Post reported Finnerty was briefly with the Denver Broncos the next year.

Finnerty was married with two young children, Grand Valley State assistant football coach Jim Schaak, who was among those taking part in Tuesday's search, told WTOM.