Family calls off search for missing NFL player

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - The family of NFL player Marquis Cooper says they have decided to discontinue their search for the 26-year-old man and two friends still missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a statement released Friday, Bruce Cooper said his family is beginning the healing process, and needs time to be together and remember his son. Cooper described his son as a great father and husband.

The football player was aboard a 21-foot fishing boat last Saturday evening when it capsized in rough seas. Only former University of South Florida player Nick Schuyler was found alive.

The Coast Guard called off its search on Tuesday, but the Cooper family had remained optimistic, enlisting private pilots and charter boats on Wednesday to continue searching for Marquis Cooper.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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