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Funeral Arrangements Finalized for Fallen GVSU Football Star


BRIGHTON, MI (WHTC) - As funeral arrangements are finalized, the circumstances and causes into the death of former Grand Valley State University quarterback Cullen Finnerty continue to be investigated.

Searchers found the body of 30-year-old Cullen Finnerty in the Bray Creek State Forest near Baldwin on Tuesday night, ending a two-day search after the surgical supply company sales rep went missing while on a fishing trip with his family. A pontoon boat and fishing gear were found along the Baldwin River near where he was last seen, and the body was eventually discovered about a half mile away. Current GVSU Coach Matt Mitchell led a 38-person busload of fellow coaches, staff, current and former players to the area on Tuesday in an effort to help in the search. 

According to Lake County officials, initial autopsy results were inconclusive, although family members believe that Finnerty succumbed to an enlarged heart. Investigators are looking into his actions on Sunday before his disappearance, hoping to find clues as to what exactly had happened to him. Visitation is on Monday at St. Patrick Catholic Church in his hometown of Brighton, with a 10:30 AM funeral mass slated for Tuesday.

Finnerty came to Allendale after transferring from the University of Toledo, and quarterbacked the Lakers to NCAA Division II crowns in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Following his first title season, he was among six persons who allegedly stormed into an off-campus apartment in February of 2004 and beat up another student. Finnerty pleaded guilty to illegal entry and assault and battery charges and was sentenced to one year probation. He did not reportedly run afoul of the law during the remainder of his collegiate days. Finnerty had brief stints in the NFL with Denver and Baltimore.