Body found in Chattahoochee River identified as missing CDC worker

Timothy Cunningham a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee

Atlanta officials confirmed the death of Dr. Timothy Cunningham, a 35-year-old epidemiologist with the CDC who was last seen almost two months ago, during an April 5 press conference.

Doctor's Body Found Decomposing in RiverTimothy Cunningham's body was found Tuesday, April 3, partially submerged in water and a great deal of mud on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River in northwest Atlanta, fire -rescue department spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford said at a press conference.

There were no signs of foul play and the preliminary cause of death is drowning, the medical examiner said.

"Barring some new information coming forward - and obviously we're checking, you know, we'll check video, we'll check places he might have got access to the river - but barring new information coming forward we may never be able to tell you how he got into the river", O'Connor said. "During that search, we did not find any indication or signs of a body being at the river at that time". His sister, Tiara Cunningham, the last family member who spoke with Cunningham before he disappeared, said she felt lost without her brother. "None of those items are missing", O'Connor said.

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

11 Alive reports that the information the Atlanta Police received came directly from the CDC. A report that the 35-year-old was recently unhappy about being passed over for a promotion was later retracted by the CDC.

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A search of Cunningham's home shortly after his disappearance recovered his cell phone, keys and wallet, something O'Connor had described as unusual.

The CDC said in a statement sent to CNN that Cunningham's "colleagues and friends at CDC are deeply saddened to learn of his death".

By outward appearances, Cunningham seemed to have a successful career. 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". So was his beloved Tibetan spaniel, which concerned his family.

"CDR Timothy Cunningham's colleagues and friends at CDC are deeply saddened to learn of his death".

The condition of the body is consistent with Cunningham being gone since February 12, the medical examiner said.

Four times since their son went missing, Cunningham's parents have been told that a body had been found.

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