An employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was last seen 11 days ago, when he left work early after complaining that he felt bad, Atlanta police said Friday.
Timothy Cunningham, 35, works as a commander in the US Public Health Service. UU And it has responded to the Ebola virus and Zika virus outbreaks, the CDC said. He has two degrees from Harvard.
The police are now conducting a search of Cunningham and have counted on the help of his family, friends and the alumni network of his alma mater Morehouse College.
The search effort includes small and large groups that are organized for canvas and brochures in the local area, said his close friend David Calloway. He spoke on behalf of the family and is helping to lead the search. Social networks, digital messaging services and Morehouse's alumni network have expanded that effort nationwide.
Cunningham's family told NBC News that they kept in constant contact with each other , and he said that he and his sister talked almost every day. Cunningham's sister spoke with him for the last time around 7 a.m. on February 12, Cunningham's parents said.
"Tim was in communication with us extensively on Sunday [Feb. 11] and I point out Sunday because there were some telephone exchanges and text messages that alerted me that he was worried about our son," said his father Terrell Cunningham.
Cunningham's parents said they became increasingly worried when they did not return any text messages or phone calls. Then they had a couple of relatives extend their house in Atlanta, which seemed empty despite having two open windows, an alarming detail, since Cunningham's parents said that his son was particularly environmentally conscious.
Increasingly concerned, Cunningham's parents said they drove all night from their home in Maryland to Atlanta. When they entered their son's house, they said they found their phone, wallet, keys and car unmolested. His beloved dog Beau was also left at home, they added.
"Tim never leaves Beau unattended," said Terrell Cunningham. "He just does not do it."
The family said they contacted their contacts in the medical community to consult the hospitals and asked their friends to search the parks.
Joe Carlos, a close friend of Cunningham's university and Atlanta resident, said he and Cunningham had bought tickets to attend a gala last weekend that celebrated the anniversary of the founding of Morehouse, his alma mater. .
"Our last communication the previous week was about leaving earlier and going down to the VIP reception and having fun," said Carlos. "I can speak for myself and for many classmates that this is very, very shocking."
Cunningham's friends described him as stubborn, positive and happy, and noted his reliability.
"He has this record and impeccable service background, and then he's also the type you can call to help him move furniture or meet you at a restaurant at the end of a long day," said Calloway, who also knew Cunningham. of the university and has maintained a close relationship with him over the years.
Cunningham also stands out for his service to the Atlanta community, winning the Outstanding Atlanta Award in 2014 in recognition of his "service, leadership and accomplishments of Atlanta's youth." professionals. "He was named in the Atlanta Business Chronicle by 40 under 40s last year."
His friends said Cunningham is well-liked in the Atlanta community and by those who know him, as a result, they said they have raised more than $ 20,000. As a reward for the information that helps you locate it, they said they plan to keep the search for as long as necessary.
"There has been a lot of love between your neighbors and the community, but my main focus is just that my son returns home, "said his mother, Tia-Juana Cunningham.
" Tim, if you see any of this information, please, I know you can go home, "her mother added, speaking directly to her son. We love you and we miss you. "We just want him to be back in our arms."
Anyone who may have information to call 911 or the Police Missing Persons / Disappeared Unit of Atlanta Police Department is encouraged at (404) 546-4235.