Body found in Chattahoochee River is missing CDC scientist


The local medical examiner has ruled the cause of Cunningham's death was drowning and there are now no signs of foul play, according to local police.

Police confirmed that scientist Dr. Timothy Cunningham's body was found in the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta.

Cunningham was last seen leaving working early on February 12.

Cunningham's family claimed that the 35-year-old had been behaving very strangely before vanishing without a trace two months ago. Police planned a news conference for later Thursday. Officials say there appear to be no indications of foul play. The Atlanta Journal-Consitution noted that the agency didn't rule out that Cunningham was possibly upset because it wasn't the promotion he wanted. "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.

Cunningham worked as an epidemiologist working in the CDC's chronic disease unit. Inside Cunningham's home, the parents said they found his phone, wallet, keys and vehicle undisturbed.

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Cunningham, who police described as "an avid collector" of rare stones, had three crystals in his pocket and was found wearing his favorite jogging shoes, O'Connor said.

Cunningham's mother told officers that her son had been "upset about a promotion at work", according to a police report.

11Alive reached out to Atlanta Police about the CDC's statements and the agency said they stood behind the information they released.

However, almost two weeks later, the CDC said that information was untrue. But the CDC disputed that, saying that Cunningham been promoted to commander effective July 1 "in recognition of his exemplary performance in the U.S. Public Health Service".