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Corps found on the Atlanta River identified as the missing scientist of the CDC Timothy Cunningham

The remains of Timothy Cunningham, 35, were found Tuesday on the Chattahoochee River in northwest Atlanta, Campos said.

A press conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Thursday. The Atlanta Police Department, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office and the Atlanta Fire Department will participate.

Cunningham, of Atlanta, was last seen on February 12, shortly after a CDC supervisor explained why he was being overlooked. .

The disappearance triggered a high-profile police search and a $ 10,000 reward for clues. As the days passed, rumors circulated that the disappearance of Cunningham was linked to his alleged role as a whistleblower for the flu vaccine. The rumors were discredited by the police and his family

The case puzzled investigators because Cunningham's keys, cell phone, credit cards, debit cards, wallet and all forms of identification were found in his house, along with his beloved dog.

In announcing that his body had been found, the authorities gave no clues as to why he disappeared.

Coworkers told authorities that Cunningham had been "obviously disappointed" on the morning of February 12, when he learned why he was not getting the promotion he expected, police said. He left work quickly, saying he felt sick, they said.

Early that morning, at 5:21 a.m., Cunningham's mother had received a text message from him, she said. "Are you awake?" his son asked. But his phone was in silent mode. "I wish I had the opportunity to respond to that text," he said later.

Cunningham also called his mother at 9:12 a.m. that day, but he did not respond, according to the Atlanta police. He did not leave a message.

& # 39; This is extremely difficult & # 39;

Cunningham was a well-respected epidemiologist at the CDC, having risen among the ranks to become a team leader of the United States Public Health Service Commissioners Corps. He won a place last year on the list of 40 under 40s of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, who is who of the city's outstanding youth.

With more than 16 years of public health experience, he co-authored 28 publications on topics ranging from sleep deprivation to lung disease, with a special focus on how health problems affect minorities. He worked in public health emergencies, including Superstorm Sandy, the Ebola outbreak and the Zika virus.

His friends said that Cunningham was intelligent and affectionate, with a big smile and big hugs to match.

  Parents & # 39; & # 39; agonizing & # 39; wait for news from the missing CDC doctor

The flyers circulated through Atlanta in the weeks after his disappearance. They showed their magnetic smile and urged anyone with information to call 911.

Cunningham's parents, Tia and Terrell Cunningham, said they shared a disturbing series of text messages and a phone call with their son the night of 11 February. [19659002] "We have shared that with the detectives, and we have maintained it as a private matter," said his father. "As a parent, you have indicators when things are not good for your child, and that was the case."

When they arrived home a few days later, Cunningham's parents said they knew something was wrong because their Tibetan spaniel was unattended. The dog, known as Bo, had accompanied Cunningham twice to Harvard, where he obtained his master's degree and his doctorate.

Four times since his son disappeared, Cunningham's parents were told they had found a body. Each time, they felt a heartbreaking agony, they said, only to discover that it was not their son.

"It takes you to a place where the light does not shine," said Terrell Cunningham. "I will not call it a dark place, but they are low, this is extremely difficult."

Marylynn Ryan of CNN contributed to this report.


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