Missing CDC worker's body recovered in Atlanta river

Katherine Welles  Shutterstock Inc

"The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the body recovered in the Chattahoochee River in NW Atlanta late Tuesday to be missing CDC employee Timothy Cunningham", the Atlanta Police Department tweeted on Thursday. "I don't know if it's an instinct you have because it's your child, but it was not a normal conversation and I was not comfortable", Terrell Cunningham said about one of the last phone calls he had with his son. For months, authorities scavenged for clues on where the 35-year-old may have been.

Police said there is now no indication that foul play was involved, and there were no signs of trauma on his body to indicate he died of anything but drowning.

Authorities have scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m.

Sgt. Stafford said the area where Cunningham was found was inaccessible through walking. The site where the body was found was not far from Cunningham's house, said Major Michael O'Connor of the Atlanta Police Dept.'s Major Crimes Section. O'Connor said the department's missing person investigation could come to a close in the next few weeks.

Cunningham was an epidemiologist in the CDC's chronic disease unit.

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He was reportedly working as a commander in the U.S. Public Health Service and had responded to the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks.

Cunningham, who has two advanced degrees from Harvard University, studied the health differences between people from various backgrounds, including race, gender, geography and class, according to his biography on the CDC's website.

CDC officials said previously that reports Cunningham had been passed over for a promotion were incorrect.

The CDC, however, fired back at the reports and said in March that Cunningham had received an early promotion.

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