CDC researcher's death ruled a suicide: 5 things to know

The death of Dr. Timothy Cunningham, a 35-year-old epidemiologist with the CDC, has been ruled a suicide by drowning by a county medical examiner, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Here are five things to know.

1. Dr. Cunningham, who was the team lead of the CDC's division of population health, was last seen leaving work in Atlanta on Feb.12 after telling his supervisors he felt ill. He was reported missing Feb. 14.

2. On April 3, Dr. Cunningham's body was found in Atlanta partially submerged in water and mud in a remote area alongside the Chattahoochee River. He was identified by dental records, and the preliminary cause of death was drowning.

3. Fulton County's Chief Medical Examiner Jan Gorniak, DO, determined May 22 the cause of death was drowning and the manner of his death was suicide. Toxicology tests revealed Dr. Cunningham had marijuana in his system, but there were no other significant findings. There were no signs of other trauma.

4. Police said Dr. Cunningham had been disappointed about being passed over for a promotion in February; however, the CDC disputed that claim, saying he had been promoted to commander, effective July 1.

5. Dr. Cunningham's parents told investigators their son had not been diagnosed with depression but did have mood swings.

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