Body of missing CDC employee found in Chattahoochee River

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The body of a missing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee, who mysteriously vanished almost two months ago, has been recovered from the Chattahoochee River, Atlanta police said on Thursday.

Timothy Cunningham, 35, worked as a commander in the U.S. Public Health Service, but he disappeared after he went home sick on Feb. 12. His case made national headlines as police, family and friends searched for any trace of him.

Timothy Cunningham, a CDC worker who was reported missing on Feb. 14, 2018.via Atlanta Police Department
Body of missing CDC employee found in Chattahoochee River
Body of missing CDC employee found in Chattahoochee River

Fishermen found the severely decomposed body on Tuesday night about 400 yards upstream from where the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway crosses the river, authorities said Thursday. They noted that Cunningham’s body was found stuck in the mud on the bank of the river face up.

“As it stands right now, there’s been no foul play indicated to this point,” said Major Michael O’Connor, the commander of the Atlanta Police Department’s Major Crimes Section, at a press conference Thursday.

“Barring some new information coming forward we may never be able to tell you how he got into the river,” he added, noting that Cunningham was wearing his “favorite” jogging shoes and carried two crystals in his pocket.

Cunningham was an avid collector of such rocks, authorities said.

O’Connor said he expected to close Cunningham’s case in the next month if authorities did not uncover any new information. He said investigators had spoken to nearly every significant person in Cunningham’s life and tracked his last movements captured on videotape.

Fulton County Medical Examiner Jan Gorniak told reporters that, based on the condition of the body, it appeared Cunningham went into the water on Feb. 12, the day of his disappearance. The cause of death seemed to be drowning, she said.

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