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Former GVSU quarterback found dead

WZZM-TV • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:41 PM

Finnerty's former football coach said Finnerty's body was recovered around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Lake County Sheriff Bob Hilts said a search crew found Finnerty's body a half-mile north of where his pontoon boat was found.

Investigators said the body was discovered deep in the woods under a thick pine tree. There were no visible wounds or apparent cause of death.

Police said they do not yet have a theory on the cause of death and are treating it as a crime scene.

An autopsy could be performed as soon as Wednesday.

Finnerty, 30, was last heard from Sunday evening in the Bray Creek area, near Baldwin. Authorities said he was on a pontoon boat on the Baldwin River when he called family members and indicated he was afraid.

Investigators are not sure what was causing Finnerty's distress.

Lake County Sheriff's deputies found Finnerty's boat, but no trace of his life vest or fishing equipment. Authorities were using a cellphone location data, known as a ping, to narrow his location.

Hilts said earlier Tuesday that the cellphone ping led to an area about 1.5 miles north of where Finnerty's boat was discovered. That's near a lake but no homes.

In addition to official search teams, another 60 or so family and friends gathered Tuesday morning to conduct a systematic search of the area. The team took a break around 5 p.m. because they were exhausted from searching "rough areas" plagued by mosquitoes.

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