Clues Sought in Mystery Death of Former Star College Quarterback

PHOTO: Denver Broncos backup quarterback Cullen Finnerty stretches at the teams headquarters in Denver, May 29, 2008.
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Investigators hope an autopsy today will provide answers into the mysterious death of one of the most winningest college quarterbacks ever, who was found dead in the woods three days after he disappeared on a fishing trip.

Cullen Finnerty, 30, was a football standout at Grand Valley State University, was found dead in a wooded area near Webber Township, Mich., Tuesday evening, not far from his family's Baldwin cabin.

Lake County Undersheriff Dennis Robinson told ABCNews.com there were no signs of foul play and no signs of physical trauma on Finnerty's 6-foot-2-inch body, leaving investigators with questions about how he died.

"The family said he had no medical issues and no health issues that would prevent him from walking or fishing," Robinson said.

Robinson said Finnerty's wife and brother-in-law were the last people to speak with him before he went missing, and that they'd said Finnerty, a father of two, seemed "nervous" about something.

"He contacted his wife and said he had some concerns and was getting hit with brush and was getting off the river," Robinson said.

In the call with the brother-in-law, Robinson said he reported Finnerty did not seem to know his location.

"I don't believe he's an avid fisherman. There is a lot of debris in the water," Robinson said.

Finnerty's family reported him missing on Sunday, setting off a massive three-day search by air and land that included police, firefighters and Grand Valley State University football players and coaches, until his body was located Tuesday night.

Grand Valley State University head coach Matt Mitchell said Finnerty was a "huge reason" the school had a winning tradition.

"He stood as tall as a person as he did a player on the field, and he will be missed," he said in a statement.

Finnerty led the GVSU Lakers to national championships in 2003, 2005 and 2006. He left the school as the quarterback with the most wins in National Collegiate Athletic Association history, with 51 victories as the starting quarterback. He had brief NFL stints with the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos.

Finnerty is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their two children.

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