Body of Missing CDC Worker Found

Lynette PayneApr 06, 2018

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the body recovered in the Chattahoochee River in NW Atlanta late Tuesday to be missing CDC employee Timothy Cunningham.

On Tuesday night, fishermen contacted authorities after discovering a body in the Chattahoochee River near Donald L. Hollowell, about 400 yards upstream from the bridge, and on the Atlanta side of the river. "I don't know if it's an instinct you have because it's your child, but it was not a normal conversation and I was not comfortable", Terrell Cunningham said about one of the last phone calls he had with his son.

Cunningham left work in the Atlanta office on February 12, saying that he was sick after learning he was passed over for promotion. Officials say there appear to be no indications of foul play. During an April 5 press conference, Atlanta police could not explain why the CDC worker did not have any of his belongings with him when he died.

Cunningham, 35, was an epidemiologist at the Atlanta-based federal agency. "Since the investigation is ongoing, we do not have. whether it was an accident, a suicide, or anything other than that" Cunningham drowned, Gorniak said. The scientist was wearing his favorite running shoes, O'Connor added. "None of those items are missing", O'Connor said.

Police and the CDC released conflicting information about Cunningham in the days after his disappearance.

Almost two weeks later, the CDC said that information was untrue.

The CDC denied that report, but Atlanta police stood by its statement.

"In fact, he received an early promotion/exceptional proficiency promotion to Commander effective July 1, 2017, in recognition of his exemplary performance in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS)".

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