CDC releases statement on employee who disappeared a month ago


Police said Cunningham reported to work February 12 but told colleagues he didn't feel well and left early.

Contrary to circulating news reports, Cunningham was not passed over for a promotion, according to Dr. Anne Schuchat.

Michael O'Connor, who said that Cunningham left the CDC headquarters in Atlanta on February 12, after supposedly discussing with his supervisor the reasons why he was passed up for a promotion.

Anyone with information on his disappearance is urged to call 911 or the Atlanta Police Homicide/Adult Missing Persons Unit at 404-546-4235.

As many of his colleagues...have pointed out, this information is incorrect.

The CDC said it would continue to work with the Atlanta police department to solve the mystery of Cunningham's disappearance.

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Schuchat explained that Cunningham was actually promoted to commander effective on July 1 "in recognition of his exemplary performance in the US Public Health Service", which is a uniformed corps in the Department of Health and Human Services. "The objective of that meeting was to explain a promotion he did not receive to branch manager", he said.

Cunningham's family and the Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta are offering a $15,000 reward for tips regarding the case. Cunningham was told the previous week he was not getting the job, O'Connor said.

"There has been news coverage that Commander Cunningham recently did not receive a promotion", Dr. Schuchat said.

Cunningham is an epidemiologist at the Atlanta-based federal agency. "We've talked to several of his co-workers, and they indicated obviously he was disappointed about this promotion", he said. "If anyone reading this has information about the whereabouts of Commander Cunningham, please come forward".

Cunningham, 35, works as a team lead for the CDC's Division of Population Health.

"Over and above any of his assignments at CDC, his early promotion within the USPHS reflects his excellence as an officer and an employee", the statement read.