April 5 (UPI) — A U.S. Centers for Disease Control scientist has been found dead nearly two months after he went missing, authorities said Thursday.
The body of Timothy Cunningham, 35, was found Tuesday in the Chattachoochee River in Atlanta, the Atlanta police department said at a Thursday news conference. Officials told reporters they found no indication of foul play. The preliminary cause of death is drowning.
“We may never be able to tell you how he got into the river,” Major Michael O’Connor of Atlanta Police told reporters. O’Connor said the river wasn’t that far from Cunningham’s home. The scientist was wearing his favorite running shoes, O’Connor added.
Cunningham, a CDC scientist and researcher responding to public health emergencies such as the Ebola and Zika viruses, vanished on Feb. 12.
The investigation is still under way, so the manner of death has not been determined, the medical examiner said.
Cunningham left work in the Atlanta office on Feb. 12, saying that he was sick after learning he was passed over for promotion. But police have found no evidence that Cunningham’s disappearance was directly tied to his lack of promotion.
O’Connor said last month he thought the disappearance was “extremely unusual,” because all Cunningham’s belongings were at his home.
“His keys, his cell phone, credit cards, debit cards, wallet, all his identification, passport — everything you can think of, we’ve been able to locate. None of those items are missing,” O’Connor said.