CBS Local — A CDC researcher in Atlanta who called out sick two weeks ago has reportedly vanished without a trace. The parents of Timothy Cunningham are now offering a $10,000 reward for help finding their son.
Cunningham, a commander in the United States Public Health Service and epidemiologist with the CDC, was last heard from on Feb. 12 after leaving work early and filing for a two-week sick leave. “He sounded not like himself,” Tiara Cunningham, the commander’s sister told The New York Times. Concerned about their son, Cunningham’s parents reportedly drove from Maryland to the 35-year-old’s Atlanta home on Feb. 14 and only found his dog home alone.
Cunningham’s wallet, keys, and car were all left behind as well and there has been no sign of the researcher since. “As of today we have been unable to locate Mr. Cunningham and we are seeking the assistance of the public with this case,” Officer Donald Hannah of the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement on Feb. 24. Atlanta police added that they don’t have any evidence of foul play in the commander’s disappearance.
Terrell Cunningham, the missing man’s father, says he believed something was very wrong with his son during their last few phone calls. “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.”
According to the CDC, Commander Cunningham “is a team lead with CDC’s Division of Population Health. His research has been oriented towards understanding health differences related to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and geography.” The agency adds that the 35-year-old has also worked on numerous emergency cases including the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.
Anyone with information on the researcher’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Atlanta Police Homicide/Adult Missing Persons Unit or local Crime Stoppers hotline.