Missing CDC Doctor Timothy Cunningham Found Dead In Chattahoochee River

Missing CDC Doctor Timothy Cunningham Found Dead In Chattahoochee River

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control scientist has been found dead almost two months after he went missing, authorities said Thursday.

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. One popular rumor was that he was a whistle-blower who had warned others at the CDC that the vaccine used for the flu season had caused some of the high number of deaths from the illness.

"We may never be able to tell you how he got into the river", O'Connor said.

"We're open to any and all possibilities", O'Connor previously said, though he declined to say how investigators were taking Cunningham's mental health into account during the search. The scientist was wearing his favorite running shoes, O'Connor added.

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Cunningham was a highly respected epidemiologist at the CDC; previous year he was listed among the Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 Under 40 list.

There were no signs of foul play and the preliminary cause of death is drowning, the medical examiner said. He vanished under mysterious circumstances including that he was reported to be a whistleblower and that he passed over for a promotion.

Police previously had said they had no evidence of foul play, but could not rule it out. "His keys, his cellphone, credit cards, debit cards, wallet, all of his identification, passports".

"The most unusual factor in this case is that every single belonging that we are aware of was located in the residence", O'Connor said.

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Cunningham was 35 years old at the time of his disappearance.

"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. In the statement, it said that Cunningham had in fact received an early promotion for his outstanding work.

Friends said Cunningham was smart and caring, with a big grin and big hugs to match. His work as a Public Health Service commander including responding to public health emergencies such as the Ebola virus and Zika virus. During this time, there was false information spread about the disappearance of Cunningham. "As a parent, you have indicators when things are just not right with your child, and that was the case". So was his beloved Tibetan spaniel, which concerned his family.

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