A fisherman first discovered Cunningham's body and called authorities, said Stafford, who noted the body was found in an area that authorities had already searched in February without finding anything.
Timothy Cunningham, a 35-year-old Harvard-educated leader within the nation's health protection agency, was found dead late Tuesday night in the Chattahoochee River, which runs near his home, police said Thursday. Missing flyers were circulated, and media stories captured Cunningham's parents as well as his sister's grief in the days after his disappearance.
Cunningham, 35, was an epidemiologist at the Atlanta-based federal agency.
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Stafford says the body was partially submerged in water and mud on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River. Police planned a news conference for later Thursday.
Investigators and Cunningham's family located his personal belongings, including his keys, wallet, cell phone and even his dog, Mr. Bojangles all at his home in Northwest Atlanta.
With more than 16 years of experience in public health, he'd co-authored 28 publications on topics ranging from sleep deprivation to pulmonary disease, with a special focus on how health issues affect minorities.
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"Dr. Cunningham's colleagues and friends at CDC hope that he is safe", Burden said. He was once named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's "40 under 40" list. He also talked to his supervisor about a raise and reportedly told several coworkers he was upset about not getting the promotion to branch manager, Fox News reported.
"In fact, he received an early promotion/exceptional proficiency promotion to Commander effective July 1, 2017 in recognition of his exemplary performance in the U.S. Public Health Service", the agency said in a March statement.
Police and the CDC released conflicting information about Cunningham in the days after his disappearance. "If anyone reading this has information about the whereabouts of Commander Cunningham, please come forward".
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Almost two weeks later, the CDC said that information was untrue. During a news conference on February 27, police said they have "no reason" to believe the missed promotion had anything to do with his disappearance.
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