An epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Chamblee, Ga. went missing after leaving work sick two weeks ago. Days earlier, he was told he would not receive a promotion. Cunningham has not been seen since Feb. 12.
Timothy Cunningham, 35, was a graduate of Morehouse who earned two degrees from Harvard. He was disappointed after being passed over for a promotion. Friends told police Cunningham had expected to be promoted.
After he came in to work on Feb. 12, he was called into his manager's office and told he would not get the promotion he was up for.
He came into work on Feb. 6 and 7, but he called in sick on Feb. 8 and 9, according to ABC News.
On Monday, Feb. 12, he went to work but left early, saying he wasn't feeling well.
Cunningham's parents were concerned about his behavior in the days leading up to his disappearance. His parents knew something was wrong when they exchanged a series of text messages with him on Feb. 11.
"As a parent, you have indicators when things are just not right with your child, and that was the case," his father Terrell Cunningham said.
On the day Cunningham went missing, he sent his mother, Tia-Juana Cunningham, a text message at 5:21 a.m. "Are you awake," he asked in the text. But her phone was on silent mode. "I wish I had that opportunity to answer that text," she said.
Alarmed after not hearing from their son, his parents drove from their Maryland home to Georgia. They let themselves into his home and found his beloved dog, Mr. Bojangles. They also located Cunningham's keys, cellphone and wallet containing his identification and credit cards. His car was parked outside. Two upstairs windows were left open.
Cunningham's family said he would never abandon his dog or his job.
"Tim is the consummate professional. He loves his job. He wouldn't just cast it aside. He's worked hard to get where he is," his brother Anterio Cunningham said.
"Not having his phone, leaving his dog Bo alone, he just wouldn't voluntarily check out like that," Anterio said.
Terrell Cunningham disputed an Internet rumor that Tim warned that the flu shot was responsible for this season's deadly flu.
"It is a lie," said Terrell. "It is not factual. Hopefully, he'll come back and be able to address that."
Neighbor Chris Torry told WAGA of an odd exchange between him and Cunningham.
"My wife and him and swapped phone numbers. Saturday, Tim called over to me from across the way and told me to take his number out of her phone," he told the station. "It seemed a bit strange."
Torry did not elaborate.
The CDC released a statement last week calling Cunningham "a highly respected member of our CDC family."
"This is an extremely unusual set of circumstances," Maj. Michael O'Connor of the Atlanta Police told reporters Tuesday. He said police do not suspect foul play.
Cunningham's family is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Cunningham's whereabouts.