Cullen Finnerty, the former college QB found dead after a frantic search, may have been having “mental” issues before his disappearance and sudden death this week.
The college QB last made contact with a family member and was known to be fishing along the Baldwin River. Finnerty’s family owns a cottage in the area, and the former football star was tracked by his cell phone after he was determined to be missing.
Before the phone died, Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts said, Finnerty told a family member he “was nervous about something,” causing his family to become concerned that “he might be having some kind of a mental episode – that he was either afraid or something and ran off into the woods.”
The call was the last time Finnerty was known to be alive, and a frantic search in the rough terrain ensued. Before the former college QB was found dead, Hilts admitted that the area in which he went missing was difficult to traverse, with logjams and dense brush — but that cops would keep pushing until Finnerty was found:
“This is the last river that I’d pick to fish … And it’s a very tough river to navigate … We will search until we find him.”
Grand Valley coach Matt Mitchell worked with Finnerty in 2005 and 2006 when the player led the team to championships, and he commented on the search:
“Everybody’s just kind of anxious to get up there and see how we can help … He’s held in very high regard. He was the starting quarterback on national championship teams. But he’s more than that: He’s one of the most loyal teammates we’ve ever had.”
On Tuesday, the college QB was found dead at Bray Creek State Forest Campground, and police have only disclosed that no foul play was believed to be involved in Cullen Finnerty’s death.