Body of Missing CDC Scientist Found in Atlanta River, Police Confirm

Timothy Cunningham a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee

Timothy Cunningham a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee

Police said a body discovered Tuesday in the Chattahoochee River has been identified as Timothy Cunningham, the missing employee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"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", Atlanta police tweeted. But police said that, based on their own interviews and the findings of the autopsy so far, they have no reason to believe there was any foul play. The preliminary cause of death is drowning.

"Barring new information coming forward, we may never be able to tell you how he got to the river", Mr. O'Connor said. The scientist was wearing his favorite running shoes, O'Connor added.

O'Connor has stressed that investigators have not uncovered any evidence that Cunningham's promotion snub was directly linked to his disappearance.

Cunningham, a commander in the Public Health Service who responded to public health emergencies including the Ebola virus and the Zika virus, disappeared on February 12 after he said he was sick and left his Atlanta office. In his home, they found his keys, phone, wallet containing his credit and debit cards and identification, and they even found his passport.

"We found that to be an unusual circumstance in a missing persons case", Major O'Connor told reporters at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

The article said he was continuing on his family's path into the medical field; his father was an Air Force nurse for 30 years, and his mother worked for the state health department as a program manager.

Volunteers spent countless hours searching for any trace of the 35-year-old but didn't have any luck. On Monday this week, Cunningham's parents told the FOX News sister station in Cleveland their son provided a clue 24 hours before his disappearance, claiming they received a "disturbing" text from him but wouldn't elaborate. His work as a Public Health Service commander including responding to public health emergencies such as the Ebola virus and Zika virus. Dr. Cunningham's parents later discovered their son's cellphone, wallet, keys, vehicle and dog unattended at his home on February 14. "I can't tell you that he was jogging, but those two things together seem to indicate that that's a possibility". So was his beloved Tibetan spaniel, which concerned his family.

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