Health

CDC 'not giving up hope' that missing scientist will be found

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is still holding out hope that a scientist who has gone missing will be found as the police investigation over the mysterious case extended into its fourth week.

“Today marks one month since Commander Timothy Cunningham was last seen, and we have not given up hope that he will soon be found,” Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat said in a statement. “If Tim reads this message, we hope you come home soon. If anyone reading this has information about the whereabouts of Commander Cunningham, please come forward.”

Cunningham vanished Feb. 12 after telling co-workers he wasn’t feeling well. He called two family members that morning but hasn’t reached out to anyone since, and police do not have any leads but have been able to locate his wallet, identification, and cellphone. Cunningham was an epidemiologist in the CDC’s U.S. Public Health Service and was based out of Atlanta.

Schuchat denied multiple news stories that reported Cunningham had recently been passed up for a promotion and was upset about it. Reporters received their information about the denied promotion from the Atlanta Police Department.

“There has been news coverage that Commander Cunningham recently did not receive a promotion,” Schuchat said. “As many of his colleagues in the USPHS have pointed out, this information is incorrect. 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. Over and above any of his assignments at CDC, his early promotion within the USPHS reflects his excellence as an officer and an employee.”

Cunningham’s family has started a GoFundMe page to offer a reward to anyone who helps lead the police to charges in the case. Schuchat urged anyone with knowledge of Cunningham’s whereabouts to contact the Atlanta Police Department or 9-1-1.

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