The Centers for Disease Control scientist who vanished two weeks ago was upset about not getting a promotion before leaving his workplace, Atlanta police revealed, according to CBS 46.
Timothy Cunningham disappeared on Feb. 12. That day, he was told why he didn’t get the promotion, according to Atlanta Police Major Michael O’Connor.
“I think it’s pretty consistent that he was definitely upset, he told several coworkers that he was and he was expecting this promotion,” O’Connor told CBS 46. “He tells the supervisor he’s not feeling well, he had actually called in sick the two previous work days.”
Police say Cunningham called his mother, but she missed the call and he didn’t leave a voicemail. Investigators assume that the doctor then drove himself home, but no video footage has been found 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,” said O’Connor. “They’re not certain that they have cameras that cover the parking deck but they’re checking that for us again now.”
At the home of the 35-year-old epidemiologist, police found all of his belongings, including car, wallet, 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.”
Investigators have canvassed Cunningham’s neighborhood, searched through nearby woods and checked jails and hospitals, to no avail.
Police also addressed alarming theories about Cunningham’s disappearance, including the possibility that he was kidnapped and held by people seeking access to a dangerous virus.
“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,” O’Connor added.
The CDC issued a statement about their employee.
“Dr. Cunningham’s colleagues and friends at CDC hope that he is safe,” the department wrote. “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.”