Search for missing CDC employee continues three weeks after his - CBS46 News

Search for missing CDC employee continues three weeks after his disappearance

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(Source: Atlanta Police Department) (Source: Atlanta Police Department)

It’s been three weeks since a CDC scientist was last seen.

Atlanta Police Major Michael O'Conor said they are looking at all possibilities and not ruling out anything in the investigation of Timothy Cunningham. 

At this point they have no evidence suggesting what happened one way or another. O'Connor said the day Cunningham was last seen, February 12, he was told why he didn’t get a promotion at work.

“I think it's pretty consistent that he was definitely upset, he told several coworkers that he was and he was expecting this promotion,” said O’Connor. “He tells the supervisor he's not feeling well, he had actually called in sick the two previous work days,” he explained.

They said he called his mother, who missed the call, and didn’t leave a voicemail.

Police presume Cunningham drove himself home from the CDC’s Chamblee campus, but haven’t seen video of him getting into his car and leaving.

“CDC is checking cameras now because we wanted to confirm that it was him that gets into his vehicle and drives home. They’re not certain that they have cameras that cover the parking deck but they’re checking that for us again now,” said O’Connor.

At his home they found all of his belongings, including his car and dog.

“The most unusual factor in this case is that every single belonging that we are aware of was located in the residence so his keys, cell phone, debit cards, credit card, wallet,” said O’Connor. “We’ve gotten with the CDC and gone through making sure his government credit cards aren't being used, we've looked at the browser history at the desktop computer at work to make sure there’s nothing suspicious on it, we've checked his swipe card activity."

Major O’Connor said police have canvassed the neighborhood, looked into the woods, along with at hospitals and jails. There’s been no sign of the 35-year-old epidemiologist.

He also wanted to address conspiracy theories floating around online.

“Dr. Cunningham worked in the chronic disease unit which is not the infectious disease unit. He had no access to classified material, he would not be the type of person that if you kidnapped him and held him, he could give you access to some horrific virus that could be a real problem for the rest of us,” said O’Connor. “At this point we have no reason to believe that his employment at the CDC has any bearing on the fact that he is missing beyond that it makes the case interesting out in the public.”

Police are planning to canvass Cunningham’s Atlanta neighborhood again in the coming days.

The following is a statement from the CDC:

Dr. Cunningham's colleagues and friends at CDC hope that he is safe. We want him to return to his loved ones and his work—doing what he does best as a CDC disease detective—protecting people's health.

Several volunteers are continuing the search efforts by canvassing the wooded area near the CDC.

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