Family Ends Search for NFL Player
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2009 5:16 PM CST
Marquis Cooper's boat is removed from the water at the Bay Pines boat ramp Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The family of NFL player Marquis Cooper said today 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, 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  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 to continue the search.