LAKE COUNTY, Mich. (WOOD) - Search efforts will continue Tuesday for a former Grand Valley State University quarterback who hasn't been heard from since Sunday evening.
A group of Cullen Finnerty's friends met in the morning at the GVSU campus in Allendale to go to an area near the Baldwin River in Lake County where he was last seen.
The Lake County Sheriff's Department will have a news conference at 11 a.m. to update the media about the case.
Monday night, GVSU Football Coach Matt Mitchell confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that a former teammate of Finnerty had been in touch with Finnerty's family, and identified the missing man as Finnerty.
Divers and emergency crews searched Monday afternoon for Finnerty, according to 7&4 News.
Mitchell said Finnerty was visiting his in-laws at their cabin. Finnerty was last seen when they dropped him off at the river around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, the station reported.
The last point of contact came in the form of a phone call from Finnerty to his brother-in-law just after 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, 7&4 News reported. Finnerty didn't know where he was, but then his call dropped out.
Mitchell said Finnerty's former teammate told him that when Finnerty's in-laws went to search for Finnerty, they found his small pontoon boat on the shore, and some of his fishing equipment was still inside it.
However, there was no trace of Finnerty.
Mitchell said he was told that police had a helicopter searching for Finnerty from the air on Monday, using infrared technology over wooded areas. Cellphone records were also being checked, Mitchell said.
Finnerty played for the GVSU Lakers from 2003 to 2006, leading the team to NCAA Division 2 national championships in 2003, 2005 and 2006. He started for the team from 2004 to 2006.
He finished his college football career as the winningest starting quarterback in NCAA history in all divisions with a record of 51-4, and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy his senior year, which is the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Despite that, Finnerty went undrafted in the NFL, but signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2007 and then with the Denver Broncos in 2008, but was cut before the preseason in both situations.
Most recently, Finnerty played for the Muskegon Thunder of the Continental Indoor Football League.
According to his LinkedIn profile, his current job is listed as a sales representative at Synergy Surgical LLC.
Mitchell said Finnerty is married and has children, but he didn't know if Finnerty's family had been with him up north when he disappeared.
Mitchell also said a lot of Finnerty's former teammates were feeling helpless at how to help bring Finnerty home safely.
"It's tough, you know, it's tough when you're sitting here, I know it's tough for a lot of his teammates. There's been a lot of text messages and things exchanged amongst players of that era, and a lot of thoughts and prayers going out for his safety and for the family," Mitchell said. "But sans us getting into a car and helping the search effort right now, I'm not sure there's much we can do. We have to trust the people up there, the authorities up north are doing everything they can do to try and locate him, and locate him safely."
If you have any information about Finnerty's whereabouts, call the Lake County Sheriff's Department at 231.745.2712.
The Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education discussed Phase 2 of the district's Transformation Plan at a special meeting Monday afternoon.
Is your child safe when riding in the car? Results from a new study show that fewer Michigan drivers are buckling their kids up safely in car seats or booster seats.
Nathan Lavoie, who worked at St. Therese Lisieux Parish, is facing criminal sexual conduct charges in a case involving a teenage girl.