Missing CDC Employee Timothy Cunningham's Body Found by Atlanta River, Police Say

Katherine Welles  Shutterstock Inc

Police previously had said they had no evidence of foul play but couldn't rule it out.

Timothy Cunnigham, a commander in the Public Health Service and an epidemiologist at the CDC who worked in public health emergencies like the Zika and Ebola crises, had disappeared on February 12 from work after complaining he was not feeling well.

According to Major Michael O'Connor, with the Major Crimes Section of the Atlanta Police Department, the river is not far from Cunningham's home. Cunningham lived near the river where his body was found and was an avid jogger, and he had been wearing a jogging outfit. It was initially reported that Cunningham may have been upset about not getting promoted, but CDC officials retracted this claim, saying the doctor actually received an early promotion.

Stafford says the body was partially submerged in water and mud on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River.

During a news conference, police said there is no indication of foul play, and while they are still waiting on a final report from the medical examiner, it appears that Cunningham drowned.

The pet, along with Mr Cunningham's keys, wallet, phone, identification, credit cards and passport were all found by investigators safely locked in his Atlanta home. The case, investigated by the Atlanta Police Department, has now come to a shocking and tragic end.




Timothy Cunningham, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee. His sister, Tiara Cunningham, the last family member who spoke with Cunningham before he disappeared, said she felt lost without her brother.

Friends also found the disappearance troublingly out of character.

Cunningham had an impressive career in public health, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle named him one of 2017's "40 under 40". The dog, known as Bo, had twice accompanied Cunningham to Harvard, where he earned his master's and doctoral degrees. "Over and above any of his assignments at CDC, his early promotion within the USPHS reflects his excellence as an officer and an employee".

"If Tim reads this message, we hope you come home soon", the statement read.

Cunningham, a CDC scientist and researcher responding to public health emergencies such as the Ebola and Zika viruses, vanished on February 12.

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