Timothy Cunningham a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee

Missing CDC doctor Timothy Cunningham disappeared on February 12 under curious circumstances, but was found almost two months later in a river.

The remains of Timothy Cunningham were discovered Tuesday in the Chattahoochee River in northwest Atlanta, police spokesman Carlos Campos said. The preliminary cause of death is drowning.

"It's not the type of news you want to hear", Terrell Cunningham, the 35-year-old's father had said.

The muddy river spot where the officer was found wasn't too far from his house, but there weren't any roads or running trails nearby, so it's not clear exactly how Cunningham got in there.


Cunningham vanished February 12. after telling colleagues at CDC headquarters he was not feeling well.

Fulton County Chief Medical Examiner Jan Gorniak determined the cause of death.

Before Cunningham's sudden disappearance, investigators said the epidemiologist had learned he was being passed up for a promotion, but the CDC later said that wasn't the case.

In the days after he went missing, Cunningham's case drew intense media scrutiny and speculation about what had happened in what police called "unusual" circumstances. "His keys, his cell phone, credit cards, debit cards, wallet, all his identification, passport - everything you can think of, we've been able to locate".


He was last seen leaving work early after telling his colleagues that he didn't feel well. The medical examiner found no ante- or postmortem wounds on Cunningham's body after he was recovered from the river.

"At this stage, we're waiting on some information from the medical examiner's office or if someone were to bring new information to us that was relevant, then we would obviously look at that", O'Connor said.

Cunningham had called his sister that morning and talked to his supervisor about a promotion he didn't receive, FOX5 Atlanta reported.

"Tim's impact will be felt not only through his significant contributions to CDC's mission, but also through his influence on the lives of his colleagues and friends", the statement said. He co-authored more than two dozen publications that centered on how health issues impact minorities, worked on notable public health crises such as the Zika and Ebola outbreaks, PEOPLE reports. "I can't tell you that he was jogging but those things together seem to indicate that that is a possibility". Timothy's family stated that he had a conversation with them the day before he vanished, that had left them concerned.


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