Missing CDC worker's body recovered in Atlanta river

Timothy Cunningham a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee

The body of an employee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was reported missing more than six weeks ago has been found in an Atlanta river, police 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.

The circumstances of Cunningham's death remain unclear, but the police said they don't suspect foul play in the case, and they believe he drowned somehow.

His cause of death has not been released.

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

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When Cunningham disappeared he left all of his belongings behind at his home including his dog. The scientist was wearing his favorite running shoes, O'Connor added.

About a week before his disappearance, Cunningham was told by his CDC supervisor that he would not get a promotion; an explanation was given to him on February 12 - the Monday he went missing.

After Cunningham's disappearance, police offered $10,000 as a reward for any clues regarding Cunningham's whereabouts.

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 manner of death, however, has yet to be determined.

He was last seen leaving work early after telling his colleagues that he didn't feel well.

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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". His work as a Public Health Service commander including responding to public health emergencies such as the Ebola virus and Zika virus.

Friends said Cunningham was smart and caring, with a big grin and big hugs to match.

Cunningham was last seen leaving working early on February 12. "I can't tell you that he was jogging but those things together seem to indicate that that is a possibility".

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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