CDC Doctor Missing For Weeks, Family Fears The Worst

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The family of a Georgia man employed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is worried that he was the victim of foul play. Dr. Timothy J. Cunningham left work early on Feb. 12 after taking ill and has not been seen since. His brother insists that Cunningham wouldn’t just walk away from his life on his own.

The 35-year-old epidemiologist at the CDC in Chamblee is a graduate of both Morehouse and Harvard Universities. He has an accomplished career thus far fresh off a promotion to commander in the U.S. Health Services Corps. His brother, Anterio Cunningham, told Fox 5 Atlanta on Monday that Timothy wouldn’t just disappear because he has a great life.

“My first mind is that something has happened especially considering the length of time he’s been gone,” Anterio told the news outlet. “Not having his phone, leaving his dog Bo alone, he just wouldn’t voluntarily check out like that.”

Anterio explained that his brother is a “consummate professional” who loves his job and is very dedicated to it. Timothy worked too hard to get to this point in his life to just leave it all behind him. He is a homeowner and has roots in the community. Anterio said that something about his brother’s disappearance just doesn’t add up.

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“We just hope he will just come home safely. None of this makes sense,” Anterio continued. “He wouldn’t just evaporate like this and leave his dog alone and have our mother wondering and worrying like this. He wouldn’t.”

The Atlanta Police Department has been investigating the missing persons case. Those close to Timothy reported that his cell phone, wallet, keys, and the SUV he drives were all at his residence when they came to check on him. The cell phone is in police custody as evidence while they continue to search for the doctor.

According to the CDC website, Dr. Cunningham is a team leader in the CDC Division of Population Health and has trained with the organization as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer. He works as a researcher whose focus is on understanding health differences as they relate to gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geography. Timothy has worked on the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks among others.

Timothy’s parents live in Maryland and traveled to Georgia when they couldn’t reach him. His father, Terrell Cunningham, is gravely worried about his son. Timothy is six-feet tall and weighs 200 pounds and could be easily spotted if he was wandering around or in a hospital. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Terrell calls Timothy’s absence completely out of the ordinary and “not normal.” He just hopes that someone will contact police with any tips on his whereabouts.

“It’s not the type of news you want to hear,” Terrell Cunningham said. “Your child is missing. Thirty-five years old, but always your child.”