The body of former Grand Valley State quarterback Cullen Finnerty was found Tuesday in a wooded area about a mile from where he had mysteriously disappeared Sunday northeast of Baldwin, Mich., according to police.
Robert Hilts of the Lake County Sheriff's Department confirmed Finnerty's death. Volunteer search parties that included former teammates, coaches and players who traveled by bus to the area made the discovery about 8 p.m. ET in thick, swampy woods about 65 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.
No cause of death has been determined, authorities said. But foul play apparently is not suspected. An autopsy is planned to identify the cause of death.
Finnerty, 30, was spending the holiday weekend with family at a cabin and had decided to go fishing on the Baldwin River.
"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 called his wife to say he was nervous about something and then disappeared, Hilts said. Authorities found his boat without fishing equipment. They had tracked his cellphone signal until it went dead.
Hilts said the family feared that Finnerty might have had a "mental episode" prompted by fear.
"He was either afraid of something and ran off into the woods," Hilts said.
Finnerty, who had two small children, started on Grand Valley's Division II national championship teams in 2003, 2005 and 2006. The 2003 team was coached by Brian Kelly, now at Notre Dame.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Finnerty is one of the winningest quarterback in college football history with more than 50 victories during his career. He spent a brief time in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos.