Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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Autopsy inconclusive on ex-UT quarterback

DETROIT — A cause of death was not determined Wednesday after an autopsy on the body of a Michigan man who played Division II football and was one of the most successful quarterbacks in college history.

There was no obvious sign of heart trauma on Cullen Finnerty, Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts said.

Finnerty's body was discovered Tuesday in woods in western Michigan, 65 miles north of Grand Rapids, following a search by dozens of people, including former teammates, coaches, and current players at Grand Valley State University in Allendale.

He began his career at Toledo. Finnerty redshirted in 2001 with the Rockets before transferring to GVSU, where he won three Division II national titles and accumulated more than 50 wins.

The 30-year-old was with his relatives on a holiday weekend at a cottage in Lake County's Webber Township. He disappeared Sunday while fishing a river separately from other relatives.

The autopsy "ruled out anything real obvious," Hilts said. "There was nothing that stood out as to the cause of death. We're glad there is no foul play found at this time."

He said more results could be available this week after an examination of the brain and other tests.

Hilts said Finnerty had called his wife Sunday and expressed concern about being out on the river. Dan Brink told that his son-in-law "got bewildered."

"He was just uncomfortable about his surroundings at the time," Hilts said. "He said he was getting off the river, and things went downhill from there."

A small boat was found but no other trace of the 6-foot-3, 230-pound ex-athlete. Finnerty's body later was discovered within a mile of where he disappeared.

He briefly was a member of the Baltimore Ravens and later the Denver Broncos but never got a snap.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was Grand Valley's coach for the 2003 title.

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