The body of the Center For Disease Control and Prevention scientist who had been missing for nearly two months has been found in a river, officials said on Thursday.
Timothy Cunningham, who is Black, 35, was last seen leaving the CDC office in Atlanta on February 12 over an alleged illness. His parents, Tia and Terrell Cunningham later visited his home after not being able to reach him and found his belongings inside his residence. Missing flyers were circulated, and media stories captured Cunningham’s parents as well as his sister’s grief in the days after his disappearance. The case, investigated by the Atlanta Police Department, has now come to a shocking and tragic end.
A body discovered in the Chattahoochee River on Tuesday night was positively identified as Cunningham’s, Atlanta police confirmed on Thursday afternoon, 11 Alive reported.
Authorities were contacted by an unnamed fishermen who discovered the body on the Atlanta side of the river. The location of the gruesome discovery is about 400 yards upstream from a bridge, just east of the Atlanta Public Safety Annex, officials said.
The body was decomposing, and rescuers could not determine how long it had been in the water.
In the days before Cunningham’s disappearance, a neighbor had reported that he was acting strange. Police also said in late February that the man was up for a promotion at work that he was passed over for, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However, later, CDC officials retracted that statement.
Conspiracy theorists also jumped out the woodwork with possible claims on why Cunningham had disappeared.
A $10,000 reward had been offered in this disappearance, with police initially not suspecting any foul play.
A news conference about Cunningham has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon.