Body of CDC worker missing for six weeks pulled from Atlanta river

Statement To The Media From Acting CDC Director RADM Anne Schuchat, MD | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control scientist has been found dead almost two months after he went missing, authorities said Thursday.

The Atlanta Police Department announced the results of the medical examiner over Twitter.

Cunningham left work in the Atlanta office on February 12, saying that he was sick after learning he was passed over for promotion. Posts online presented Cunningham as a flu vaccine whistleblower.

Dr. Cunningham was a commander at the CDC and was once named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's '40 under 40'.

Cunningham, a commander in the Public Health Service who responded to public health emergencies including the Ebola virus and the Zika virus, disappeared on February 12 after he said he was sick and left his Atlanta office. "None of those items are missing", O'Connor said.

11 Alive reports that the information the Atlanta Police received came directly from the CDC.

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"We do know that he was a jogger and he was wearing his favorite jogging shoes at the time that he was found", O'Connor said. "Since the investigation is ongoing, we don't have ... whether it was an accident, a suicide, or anything other than that" Cunningham drowned, Gorniak told reporters.

The infections in Lowell and Lawrence have occurred largely among the homeless and people who inject drugs, authorities said Thursday. In his home, they found his keys, phone, wallet containing his credit and debit cards and identification, and they even found his passport.

The New York Times reports his family said their last phone conversations with Cunningham had left them anxious and "he sounded not like himself". He earned a spot past year in the Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 Under 40 list, a who's who of the city's young standouts.

The agency said he'd been deployed to work on numerous public-health emergencies, including Superstorm Sandy, the Ebola outbreak, and the Zika outbreak. The CDC did not identify any problems with his job performance or workplace issues beyond the promotion denial, O'Connor said.

Friends said Cunningham was smart and caring, with a big grin and big hugs to match. He held two degrees from Harvard University. During this time, there was false information spread about the disappearance of Cunningham.

Gorniak added that the condition of Cunningham's body is "consistent" with having been in the water since the day he went missing and there were no signs of trauma or underlying medical conditions.

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