Body Of Missing CDC Researcher Found In River

A body pulled from the Chattahoochee river is that of an Atlanta researcher for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) who went missing in mid-February, Atlanta police reported on Thursday.


Timothy Cunningham, 25, was last seen February 12 after he left work midway through the day due to an illness, prompting his friends and family to sound the alarm. 

Terrell Cunningham, 60, said his son’s supervisor told him that Commander Cunningham had reported for work but that he had left midday because he wasn’t feeling well. -NYT

The family of Timothy J. Cunningham, 35, grew concerned after the Harvard-trained epidemiologist and US Navy officer wouldn't answer texts or calls. Driving over 600 miles from Maryland to Atlanta, Cunningham's parents gained access to his house where they found their son's phone, wallet and driver's license.

Quoted by the NYT, his father said that Commander Cunningham had “a lot going on” personally and professionally, and his most recent conversation with his son had left him worried.

The tone, and the numerous exchanges gave us reason to be concerned about Tim,” said Terrell Cunningham. “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 car was parked in the garage, while his dog - Mr. Bojangles, aka Bo, was left all by himself. 

"Tim never leaves Bo unattended," Terrell Cunningham told NBC News. "He just doesn't do it."

None of this makes sense,” Timothy’s brother Anterio told Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA-TV. “He wouldn't just evaporate like this and leave his dog alone and have our mother wondering and worrying like this. He wouldn't.”

I feel like I’m in a horrible Black Mirror episode,” Cunningham's sister Tiara told the New York Times. “I’m kind of lost without him, to be quite honest.”


Tiara was the last family member to speak with Timothy Cunningham before his disappearance - who said the last time they spoke her brother "sounded not like himself." When she texted him a bit later, she didn't get a response - nor did the rest of the Cunningham family.

Atlanta police said Cunningham had been upset over not receiving a promotion - however the CDC later retracted that information, stating that he had in fact recently received one.


Cunningham - who was promoted to commander in the US Public Health Service last July, had worked on the government's response to both Zika and Ebola outbreaks. With two degrees from Harvard's School of Public Health, he had been named one of The Atlanta Business Chronicle's "40 under 40" award winners.


adr Bastiat Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:38 Permalink

The doctor thought my son had the Flu for sure. Asked if we had given him a Flu shot, we said no.

She said, "Well that is very bad. He should have had the shot and it may have prevented him from getting sick."

I replied with, "Well this year isn't the shot only 10-15% effective against the stains this year?"

The doctor says, "I haven't heard that, but even if it doesn't work against certain strains, it can help reduce the duration of the flu if you get it?"

Now she just pissed me off.

I said, "Honestly, I don't think he has the flu at all. IN fact I think he shows the symptoms of strep and I'd prefer to have a throat culture."

She decided to do a nasal swab to test for the flu. We waited four days to find out that he didn't have the flu. Good thing I went to a different doctor and had a throat culture done. Turns out he had strep.

I've never had a flu shot and have never had the flu. My son was given a flu shot four years ago because my wife didn't listen and got the flu. We've never given him another one and he hasn't had the flu in four years. Hmmmmmm.

In reply to by Bastiat

gdpetti adr Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

Yeah, most doctors don't know shit about what they do with their customers/patients... they only do what the system taught them to do.... and most of them don't seem ill intentioned... just ignorant like most investors... they 'know not what they do' applies... they simply don't take the time to learn about the pharma they push... they don't realize they are just drug pushers... well a select few do... they do know what they are doing, and the system will protect them unless it needs a fall guy, scapegoat.

In reply to by adr

SethPoor bob_stl Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

Wow. So the body has presumably been in the river for nearly 2 MONTHS yet within little over 24 hours the coroner has it ID’d AND determined there was no foul play! That has to be an autopsy record! Bodies that have been in the water for as few as 20 days usually have to be I.D.’s through DNA or dental records. This coroner should have his/her own series because he/she is a medical wonder worker!

In reply to by bob_stl

Milton Keynes SethPoor Thu, 04/05/2018 - 23:13 Permalink

The body has been in cold water for five weeks. .  

Presumably the body entered on 25 February,and was discovered april 4, so this

is really 37 days.  


Average temp is 55F, and the river…

I eyeball the stream gage at Franklin as holding  55 on average.


In the winter there is little biological activity, (Crabs, fish, animals).


so perhaps the body is well preserved.…


Bodies found in Lake Tahoe are often in excellent condition.


I'd guess if the body shows no obvious physical injury (GSW, bruises, ligature marks) and if the scene investigation shows his wallet, jacket, keys at home, and he was walking distance from where he was found,  it's probably consistent with suicide.

In reply to by SethPoor

techpriest HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Thu, 04/05/2018 - 18:36 Permalink

I used to live in Atlanta, and the gay angle may be more likely than some realize. Some guys I knew at my alma mater have told me about cases where they were out at night, and some dude suddenly appears from behind a tree (Piedmont Park) or from behind a corner (MARTA) looking for a good time. Happened to me once also, but I was in a position to bolt and now am a little more wary about my surroundings. Many parts of the city aren't safe at night.

I would need a map to get a better idea of what could have happened. The Chattahoochee runs along the west side of 285, so unless it was Vinings I would have to wonder why he would live/travel to the decidedly unsafe west side.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

Tarzan HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Fri, 04/06/2018 - 06:12 Permalink

Ya sure, he died because he was a closeted gay black man.  All that from a "picture"?

So you think it has nothing to do with his study of Zika and Ebola? 

Since we're making wild predictions, I'd say he knew too much, that he was an educated Black man WITH A CONSCIENCE!  And having a conscience, with knowledge,  is very dangerous, while working for the dogs of big Pharma.

Something stinks at the CDC, and their corporate Big Pharma handlers.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

lasvegaspersona gdpetti Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:56 Permalink

Not many people spout this kind of talk when they or their kids have very serious illness. It is true there are areas of medicine where there is not an absolute corect treatment. 

If you had been taking care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in 1978 and were still doing it'd see the good in big pharma.

Yes big pharma has all the problems of any big company and they do get blamed for developing drugs for self induced illnesses like type 2 diabetes and obesity...but in some areas of medicine...their drugs are the only rational choice.

I hope you and your family never have to see me.

In reply to by gdpetti

ExcapedPOI lasvegaspersona Thu, 04/05/2018 - 19:25 Permalink

Are you claiming that pharmaceuticals and medicine have improved for inflammatory arthridities in the past several years? I also hope that I or my family never come to see you, since medical error (not even reported by the CDC) is now the 3rd leading cause of death.  You should not believe everything you were taught, and you should know a lot more of what you were NOT taught.  You are not a God and your education has declined since 1995 to the point of extreme danger.  If we were honest, we would ban you, and not even be talking about guns! If you find this attack personal, it is because you are also ignorant.

In reply to by lasvegaspersona

platyops lasvegaspersona Fri, 04/06/2018 - 00:30 Permalink

I agree with some of what you say. But please tell me why there are "Ask you doctor" commercials on the T.V. every day and night. What about poor uneducated and gullible people watching them. It for the most part Snake Oil!

Big Pharma are legal drug dealers and only interested in the money! By the way America and New Zealand are the only 2 countries in the world that allow "Ask your doctor" commercials on public television.

In reply to by lasvegaspersona

floosy lasvegaspersona Fri, 04/06/2018 - 02:22 Permalink


Modern medicine is mostly fine for trauma, thanks to all the practice gained treating war wounds over the centuries, and in that I include antibiotics, except of course they have been abused by the medical "profession" to the point where most are now utterly useless when they are really needed. 

But when it comes to systemic or medical problems, you are no still better than C16th quacks. Most medicines are nothing but guess work and all doctors like yourself do is hope they will cover up some of the symptoms long enough for the patient to get better of their own accord - hopefully before the drugs you gave them start to systemically kill them as well or the patient gets addicted to them. 

In the US something like 5 out of 6 of all drugs prescribed are given to cover up a problem from another drug with millions of people left on drug cocktails doing nothing but making them sicker than they started and the drug companies richer.  You doctors really are just drug pushers with big pharma your pimps.  At least most don't actually believe the bullshit they peddle anymore.

And just for shits and giggles prescribed drugs are the 3rd biggest killer in the West. (The top two being caused mostly by shit lifestyle choices and crap "food")…

The best thing anyone can do is get off the modern merry go around of crap food and killer medicines and start to actually get better.



In reply to by lasvegaspersona

Eyes Opened lasvegaspersona Fri, 04/06/2018 - 04:33 Permalink

"Yes big pharma has all the problems of any big company and they do get blamed for developing drugs for self induced illnesses like type 2 diabetes and obesity...but in some areas of medicine...their drugs are the only rational choice."


Hey Doc... 5 years ago I went to another "Doc" like u... he tested me for cholesterol & prescribed statins. I stayed on 'em for 6 months until I was almost crippled with knee pain... to THIS DAY I have chronic pain so don't come on here with your high & mighty attitude. 

btw.. I'm a non-smoker & don't drink much at all, after I came off the LIPITOR I did my own research & modified my diet to control my cholesterol...


But of course there is no money for Big Pharma in a treatment like that , is there ??  Here in Ireland the pharmaceutical companies wont provide vaccines unless they have government approved & backed immunity (ironic I know) from lawsuits,  kinda tells me all I need to know about just how much belief they have in their own products....


In reply to by lasvegaspersona

Sudden Debt gdpetti Thu, 04/05/2018 - 19:22 Permalink

My sister in law is bipolar and when you see what kind of crap they had her take, the number of faillures of misdiagnoses and all...

it's pretty clear most doctors are just like anybody else. the problem they have is that they have bad sources of information, everything constantly changes, the pharma sector lies to them and few read up on the new medication and a lot just don't give a fuck about anything. It's a paycheck and a job, nothing more.

Not just their fold, most people in society are like that.

In reply to by gdpetti

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sudden Debt Thu, 04/05/2018 - 19:26 Permalink

It is probably better for her to aovid stress, eat healthy, do yoga and have a hobby like gardening or painting. Those drugs are poison. There is no cure and even diagnosis is sketchy as there is no blood test. It is probably hormone related so after menopause she should be calmer. Take those drugs long enough and the damage is permanent and not in a good way.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

rgraf HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Thu, 04/05/2018 - 23:13 Permalink

Yes. Good clean water is a key. Also, a full spectrum mineral supplement, like fulvic mineral complex. And, as for hormones, milk and butter from grass fed cows are both high in vitamins, including vitamin D3 and K2. D3 is actually a hormone. And non pasteurized milk is not stripped of the enzymes necessary for proper digestion and assimilation. Avoiding the prescribed drugs, however, is the first and most important step.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 rgraf Fri, 04/06/2018 - 00:20 Permalink

I agree. There are worse types of mental illness than bipolar. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are much worse. So hard to help someone, or try and help them, when they have a thought disorder rather than a mood disorder. The level of paranoia in those with thought disorders is high and that makes it even more difficult to try and help them. Personality disorders are complicated because the person doesn't think they have one. Anyhow, my point is everyone has some shit they have to deal with in life. There are wore things than a bipolar in law.

In reply to by rgraf