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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cullen Finnerty Famed College QB Found Dead

UPDATE 6/14/13:  Cullen Finnerty toxicology tests negative;
Cause and manner of athlete's death still undetermined; 
Preliminary autopsy revealed a "slightly enlarged heart"
but coroner says there was no evidence of a heart attack.
Finnerty found face down in the woods with arms spread;
Had been fleeing "two men" allegedly following his boat.
-  5/29 story below; join active case discussion via comment section -

Cullen Finnerty, 30, a former star college QB found dead while fishing on Baldwin River in Michigan: Snakebite? Suicide? Psychosis? Or just another run-of-the-mill 'Smiley Face' serial killing?
Finnerty spent the weekend vacationing with his family and, in a classic Smiley Face Killer scenario -- absent an outright drowning -- somehow got  separated from them on Sunday, May 26th, while boating downriver.
Shortly thereafter the panicked-sounding athlete cellphoned his wife to vaguely inform her he was "in danger." He then left his watercraft and fled on foot into the adjacent woods ... promptly disappearing.
A massive search in those dense and swampy woodlands ensued, and the young man's corpse was found three days later. He was still wearing his waders and cammies.
Autopsy results are pending, but Michigan authorities are already insisting there was "no foul play" involved in the famous college quarterback's premature death. Ostensibly because there are no apparent indications of trauma on his body.
They also emphasize, rather self-consciously, that he "was not found in the water."
That's because Cullen Finnerty is but one of hundreds of males between 17 and 30 to weirdly vanish under similarly suspicious circumstances over the past 16 years, only to be found deceased days, weeks or months later in or near a lake, creek, pond, stream, or river.
In fact, Finnerty's sinister disappearance matches the following sampling of missing/found drowned cases documented for the month of May alone:
May 5, 2013 - Oklahoma: The body of Jerry Lytle, 22, was discovered floating face down in a local creek. Police state the young man disappeared following an altercation with friends and was found in the water a few days later. Foul play is therefore being investigated.
May 6th - Indiana: While searching for a male reported to be missing, searchers found the cadaver of a man in a nearby pond. Officals say it's not clear if this unidentified victim is the same person they were looking for, as an ID is still pending.

May 9th - Arkansas: The body of a young adult male found floating in a Polk County pond has been identified as that of missing 19-year-old Benjamin Wahl. Officials say the exact cause of his death is still unknown.
May 12th - Texas: The man recently discovered dead beneath a Medina River bridge has been identified as Mohamad Taiym. Foul play is strongly suspected, police say, because the 23-year-old vanished under suspicious circumstances. His car is still missing.
May 15th - Washington: Officials state that the body found in one of their coastal rivers is that of 30-year-old Jake Simons, missing since April 5 2013. They "know of no medical reason" why the man disappeared and drowned, they've claimed.
May 18th - Illinois: Officials have confirmed that the decomposed corpse of an adult male found in a local lake is that of Matt Pulis, the 31-year-old man who had suddenly gone missing in October 2012 during a night out with his coworkers and friends.
May 19th - Michigan: Forensic analysis of the remains of an unknown male found drowned in Thornapple River are being compared to local missing person reports in hopes of identifying the victim. The nature of John Doe's death has not been announced yet.
May  24th -  South Carolina:  Authorities have identified the body of a man found in Lake Welchel as Terry Lynn Martin Jr. The  29-year-old's disappearance was reported by his family and is considered suspicious, although his cause of death has not yet been determined.

May 26th - Georgia: The body of Calvin Cunningham, 19, has been found in an Augustan canal, after he was reported missing only days earlier. A local police officer claims to have sighted Cunningham and then pursued him on foot, but then he says the teen fled and even "jumped in the lake" to elude capture ... so he removed Cunningham from the missing persons databank. Further details concerning this case are being withheld pending a full investigation.
May 26th - New York: The badly decomposed corpse of an unidentified male was pulled out of the Hudson River. The body was discovered just 20 blocks south of the George Washington Bridge, the area where Curtis Aukshunas, 25, was said to have been sighted just before he mysteriously vanished on May 8, 2013.
May 28th - Michigan: Following an intensive search for him, '30-year-old Cullen Finnerty college QB found dead near Baldwin River', search-and-rescuers have just announced. The star athlete vanished without a trace after placing a distress call to his spouse in which he stated a belief that he was imminently "in danger." A cause of death is unknown at this time, authorities are stating.

May 28th - Arizona: The "fully clothed" body of 21-year-old Gerrick Begay was discovered floating in Tempe Town Lake, the same river basin where a number of other men his age have similarly been found over the past few years. Police are investigating and autopsy results are still pending.

May 29th - Alaska: Authorities say the remains of a young adult male retrieved from an Alaskan lake have been tentatively identified as those of Shanon Lovell, a resident of Anchorage. The 30-year-old had been reported missing after attending a party in early October 2012.

May 29th - California: Marine patrol deputies were dispatched to Konocti Bay in Clear Lake to retrieve the drowned body of 31-year-old Cuong Minh Tran, missing a few days prior after allegedly visiting his friend. Autopsy results and a cause of death are still pending.

May 31st - Pennsylvania: Rescue divers and homocide detectives from the Pittsburgh Police Department were called to the shores of the Ohio river after a boater spied the rotting corpse of 25-year-old Vijay Rajaputana floating in the water. No report yet on the cause or manner of death.
(NOTE: This is a partial list; more cases will be added as additional IDs and CODs as determined. Bookmark to follow and be sure to also check out April 2013's victims as well. Use the comment sections to send notice of other cases or updates on existing ones.)


  1. His name makes me think of Cullen Fortney. Cullen Fortney managed to survive though.


  2. Yes. Both Michigan and Wisconsin have a lot of missing/drowned young men, and a few close calls too.

    As to Cullen Finnerty, I'm thinking there's a good possibility that a SECONDARY DROWNING may be what caused his heart and breathing to stop.

    A secondary drowning could have happened in only hours -- if he fell or struggled in the river, he might have inhaled a few ounces of water in the process, which is all that would be required to later trigger a fatal episode.

    FINNERTY UPDATE: Preliminary autopsy findings inconclusive, officals report. More tests pending. They still say there were no obvious injuries, however, first responders indicate there were wounds visible and some searchers expressed "shock" when they saw the body.

  3. Is there a link for that info on searchers observing wounds and expressing shock. Very interested as to what happened to this man.

  4. Two errors in your text: 1) He did not "somehow" get "separated" from family members -- he was dropped off to go fishing alone; and 2) He disappeared on Sunday and his body was found on Tuesday -- that's two days, not three.

    I suggest that Cullen Finnerty's case more closely resembles those that go missing in National Parks and other wilderness areas, in which a missing person or body is eventually found, sometimes mutilated or badly beaten. See http://www.nabigfootsearch.com/missing-411--north-americ.html

    1. So agreed with you... this case is EXACTLY like so many other cases detailed in all the "Missing 411" books. Its a shame the NPS and Law enforcement will not take heed of this problem. These books are stocked full of facts about cases that might provide some clues as to how we can prevent people from going missing. The man who brought this problem to light is brilliant, and we should be paying attention to this problem.

  5. Sunday + Monday + Tuesday = three days.

    Also, there was a "miscommunication concerning transportation," one of his loved ones has reported. This may imply that Finnerty was inadvertently left behind and is an additional contributing factor to his "somehow" becoming separated from his party while fishing from a boat on the river.

    As to the Bigfoot theory: Umm, I dunno. Does Mr. B even live in Michigan?!

    Regardless, although foul play can't yet be ruled out 100%, a phantom could indeed be what was pursuing Cullen Finnerty and which filled him with dread -- this star footballer endured multiple concussions in his career and that alone could account for the "mental episode" his family has been alluding to in news reports.

    Those kind of damages, combined with extreme fright, could have also brought on a Grand Mal seizure which, again, might have forced Finnerty into the water (thrashing) and caused a secondary drowning event hours or days later, if he took even trace amounts of fluid into his air passages.

    I keep thinking the secondary drowning theory more and more likely, since the coroner officially ruled out a heart attack itself.

    Obviously something stopped this young man's heart though, so if it didn't malfunction on its own something else is responsible.


  6. Again,ER,is there a link on searchers observing wounds and expressing shock? I haven't read that it any of the articles.

    1. Try Detroit Free Press and NY Daily News for their online Wednesday editions. Also, I believe Heavy.com made mention as well.

      AND: Get over now and read this interesting (local) piece on MLive.com before it vaporizes @ http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/05/this_is_where_cullen_finnerty.html

      SUMMARY: The reporter spoke with local merchants plus the landowner to the property where Finnerty's body was found ... they all think it quite odd it took so long to locate the victim. As well, that landowner was out and about the evening Finnerty originally went missing and says he heard loud shouts from more than one individual.

      START QUOTE: "In Baldwin, some merchants wonder how it could have taken so long to find Finnerty, so close to where he disappeared. One, who asked not to be named, said he listened on the police radio at his home Sunday night as authorities broadcast that Finnerty had called his wife.

      "The broadcast said he was scared, there were noises in the woods and someone was closing in on him, the merchant said.

      "Dave Kibbey, who owns the property in the area where Finnerty was found, recalls the night of the disappearance. He, wife Chris, and others had been visiting family grave sites earlier this Memorial Day weekend, and returned to their camper near Bray Creek about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night.

      "Later, sitting outdoors, he heard noises in the distance. 'I’m hearing yelling and shouting. I thought it was parents who let their kids out too late,' says Kibbey, who with his wife owns Chris’s Country Dollar in Reed City. 'It was way off in the distance.' [end quote]

      (So, maybe it's time to re-interview the in-laws and see if their stories are still identical with the ones first told to investigators...?)


  7. I'm Anonymous #2, btw.

    Sunday evening to Tuesday evening = 48 hours = 2 days.

    There are hundreds of credible reports of bigfoot in MI and other midwestern states -- http://bfro.net/GDB/state_listing.asp?state=mi -- that area of mid-Michigan/Manistee Natl Forest -- is a relative hot spot.

    "The broadcast said he was scared, there were noises in the woods and someone was closing in on him, the merchant said."

    This sounds like classic bigfoot intimidation behavior -- there are many other reports of this type of behavior by groups of bigfoots, and also reports where kids or adults were transported far away from a particular location, to be found after an organized search, either miles away, or back near where they disappeared from.


    1. @ "There are hundreds of credible reports of bigfoot in MI..."

      OK, then my three day fishing excursion to Michigan in June is hereby CANCELED. Haha -- actually I meant two day -- meh.

      But, seriously, I was theorizing along the lines of something more commonplace than a Bigfoot assault. Say a domestic quarrel with a father-in-law and brother-in-law, said to be the other two members of Finnerty's afternoon/evening fishing party.

      Why? Because some things aren't quite adding up:

      1. CF was *mistakenly* left behind without transportation when they departed from their cabin for home. (Really? How exactly could that happen when CF clearly had a cellphone on him? Why didn't they call him; why didn't he call them?)

      2. CF called his wife to relay his sense of doom, not the other two (her father and brother) who had remained in the area with him;

      3. At and around the time of his distress call considerable "yelling and shouting" was overheard in the vicinity of the river where the three men were each allegedly fishing;

      4. The body was found near a public campsite and a roadway. (So why was Cullen Finnerty so *lost* then, and why did it take his would-be rescuers, including said father-in-law, so long to find him there?)

      Those are just for starters, BTW.


    2. You nailed it, dude. This one did not pass the smell test early on...

  8. I agree that things don't add up at all, but they certainly DO add up if one considers a BF intimidation/assault scenario.

    1. I have no idea why you think CF was "left behind" -- everything I've read indicates CF was with his wife's father and brother until they left the area, and that he decided to go fishing by himself.

    2. Again, I haven't read anything that suggests that her father and brother remained nearby after CF went fishing. Please cite a source if you have.

    3. "Yelling and shouting" could easily be explained if one allowed for the possibility of an encounter with a BF or BFs. Screams, howls, loud gibberish -- these have all been attributed to BF sightings reports, in MI and elsewhere.

    4. Police also got a "ping" from CFs cell phone from 11 miles north of where he was found. The Sheriff said, ""The family walked in the area where we (eventually) found him, and the pings we got from the phone kept spreading us out all over the place. It looked as if he were on the move, and we were like, 'Why is this guy avoiding us?' " In MANY cases of possible/suspected BF abductions, people or bodies are found either miles away from a last known location, or days later in an area that had already been thoroughly searched (leading one to suspect that the victim was carried). Again, refer to "Missing 411."

    Anon #2

  9. Anon 3 here. Yes, a "411" was my first thought on hearing about this gentleman missing.I still believe it.

  10. Agreed. This is a "411"case. Hopefully the public will hear the real facts...but I doubt we will
    anon #4

  11. The killer used a name with the initials TB, I can't
    say anything more.

  12. @Anonymous tipster June 8th: Thank you, friend, but you should phone that one in to the police or 911 now. (Right thing to do; you'll feel good that you did.)


  13. it is not a real name. It wont do any good either to tell them anything. I tried to contact private but could not. maybe because this puter is slow. Not my puter and it was tryng to open up mail but would not. the fake name used is the location of the body,but we already know where these bodies are so it proves nothing.

  14. Can not be sure if person that used fake name is related either. Don't want to jump to conclusions. If it happens again I will give the name if there is someone not found yet. The police are not investigating these as murders and it would be like turning something over to someone that knows less than I do in the first place.

  15. Your stupid BF theories are just that.......STUPID. He probably died of a simple heart attack. Ruled out or not.

    1. Anon 3 here.
      Maybe, but what brought it on, after he felt scared and followed? How did he travel on land in those heavy waders?

  16. If this was an assault by humans there would be evidence of either gunshot, edged weapons wounds or blunt force trauma. All would be considered as a possible cause of death. I recommend you all research the case of the missing ultra-marathon runner, Micah True. He was found deceased in a wilderness area of New Mexico. Cause of death, undetermined...Let me put it in these terms, I am fairly certain that I know what DID NOT kill these people. With that in mind you have to consider other factors and other similar cases...

  17. Anon 3 here. Am reading the new 411 book,fourth in the series, Devil in the Details, and Cullen is in it.

  18. I am not Anon 1, 2 or 3 - my name is Tim. I have a couple of thiughts on this case:

    Firstly, as an engineer, I know that sometimes data is recorded which makes no sense. Whenever this happens we always look at the way that the data was measured. If we got a reading from a transducer that indicated impossibly relatively large distances were being covered in an improbably short amount of time then we would suspect the sensor or a data transmission error.

    I would say that the mobile telephone data should be discounted. A thorough data analysis is unlikely to have been done unless a murder investigation was opened.

    Secondly, the post mortem evidence could support a hypothesis of secondary drowning.

    Thirdly, I think that I am correct in saying that Mr. Finnerty had suffered from an acute attack of paranoia in the past, possibly linked to opiod painkiller abuse. It is not uncommon for patients suffering from chronic pain to become dependent upon prescription painkillers. It would be grossly inappropriate to make any moral judgements in this case but this face should be taken into consideration.

    I believe that some opiod was found in Mr. Finnery's toxicology along with a small amount of alcohol. Neither were found at levels to concern the pathologist. However, opiods are a powerful group of drugs and can lead to vertigo and nausia both when taken and during withdrawl.

    Postscript: Also, it seems that Micah True had a diagnosed condition that lead to his untimely death and he had been suffering blackouts leading up to it. It was never considered suspicious as far as I know - just tragic as he was an exceptional person.

  19. Tim, you are wrong. I have had problems with Narcotic Analgesics since a motorcycle accident.The only people to suffer vertigo and nausea (lol) are non addicts and in the very first few days. Once your addicted they don't affect you at all very much other than balance out your nor-pethidine levels to stave off withdrawal when of course you get sick but not the way your saying and I'm betting you've never suffered any of the symptoms or you wouldn't be speaking such baloney.Narcotics mymic your bodies own nor pethidine and the euphoric response is from the histamine reaction when your own body produced pain killers switch off to balance respiration. My life has been hell from people who have never had the problem demanding I live according to their myths of what is occurring or the Crown temple franchise's strangle hold on the global narcotic trades (the war on drugs Capone wanted so much for Alcohol again to get the price back up) so I keep paying higher than Gold prices just to function, and I have an IQ in the top half a percent of the planet; it funds the inflation based Federal economic system along with OPEC bucks or the near entire Western world central bank system based in London would implode.Just because you seem a decent fellow doesn't make what your saying about opiates less rubbish.Tell me what you know, not what what you imagine.

  20. Do you know if any of the victims have anything in common other than being male