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Body Of Missing CDC Researcher Found, Police Confirm

06 April 2018

It's not clear where Cunningham entered the river, which had been previously searched, officials said.

Timothy Cunningham, a 35-year-old Centers For Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist, vanished after leaving work February 12 complaining he felt unwell; some seven weeks later, his decomposed body was spotted by fishermen in a rugged area along the banks of the Atlanta area's Chattahoochee River, according to officials.

Preliminary findings show the CDC worker who went missing almost two months ago may have drowned, the Fulton County medical examiner said Thursday.

"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.

Police Maj. Michael O'Connor previously said that Cunningham had told his colleagues that he was not well, then headed home early from work.

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

Cunningham left work in the Atlanta office on February 12, saying that he was sick after learning he was passed over for promotion.

Volunteers spent countless hours searching for any trace of the 35-year-old but didn't have any luck. It gained so much attention that he CDC had to release a statement condemning the reports as false.

The only things police could confirm from the scene were that Cunningham was wearing his jogging suit where he was found and had three small crystals - similar to those police said he collected - in his pocket. Gorniak said the cause of death was drowning and she found no signs of foul play.

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The agency said he'd been deployed to work on numerous public-health emergencies, including Superstorm Sandy, the Ebola outbreak, and the Zika outbreak.

O'Connor said last month he thought the disappearance was "extremely unusual", because all Cunningham's belongings were at his home.

Cunningham's work at the CDC fueled speculation and conspiracy theories about his disappearance, including one dubious story on a website that said Cunningham disappeared amid warnings that his patients were dying from botched flu vaccines.

When they arrived at his house a few days later, Cunningham's parents said, they knew something was wrong because his Tibetan spaniel was unattended.

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Body Of Missing CDC Researcher Found, Police Confirm