Atlanta police say a body pulled from the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta this week has been positively identified as Timothy Cunningham, an employee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who mysteriously vanished almost two months ago.
As the Washington Post reports, authorities have yet to provide further details about the discovery of Cunningham’s body but have scheduled a press conference for this afternoon.
Cunningham was last seen Feb. 12 leaving his job at the CDC in Atlanta. He had told co-workers that he wasn’t feeling well and would continue working from home.
There are conflicting reports about what happened on the last day Cunningham was seen. The Post reports that a week before his disappearance, the Morehouse College and Harvard University graduate was told he wouldn’t get a promotion. He was given an explanation as to why on the day he went missing.
But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that the CDC retracted an earlier statement that it had given to police saying Cunningham hadn’t received a promotion, insisting now that he had been promoted.
This conflicts with reports that Cunningham, who worked for the chronic-disease department of the CDC, had told co-workers he was upset with the decision to pass him over.
Previously, Atlanta police said they didn’t suspect foul play but couldn’t rule it out, either. Atlanta Police Maj. Michael O’Connor has also stressed that investigators haven’t found any evidence that Cunningham’s possible promotion snub was linked to his disappearance.
Most perplexing to officials and Cunningham’s family was the condition they found his belongings in. From the Post:
“The most unusual factor in this case is that every single belonging that we are aware of was located in the residence,” O’Connor previously told reporters. “His keys, his cellphone, credit cards, debit cards, wallet, all of his identification, passports. Anything you could think of, we’ve been able to locate. None of those items are missing.”
There were also no Uber or Lyft transactions for Cunningham that day, making it unclear how he moved about. His car and his beloved dog, Mr. Bojangles, were also found at his home.
In a conversation with the New York Times, Cunningham’s father, Terrell, disclosed concerns about his recent interactions with his son.
“The tone and the numerous exchanges gave us reason to be concerned about Tim,” he told the paper. “And 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.”
Cunningham’s sister echoed Terrell’s feelings that something wasn’t right.
When she spoke to her brother on the day he disappeared, he sounded “not like himself,” said Tiara Cunningham. She didn’t elaborate.
They closed the conversation the way they typically did, reported the Times: “Love you. I’ll talk to you later.”