The CDC researcher who drowned himself in the Chattahoochee River struggled with his sexuality, and was upset that he was passed over for a promotion.
Timothy Cunningham, 35, who was reported missing in February after leaving work early, committed suicide by drowning, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.
Cunningham left behind all his worldly possessions including his beloved dog, Mr. Bojangles.
Cunningham's body was pulled from the Chattahoochee River 7 weeks after he was reported missing.
Cunningham's personal life was in turmoil before he committed suicide according to more than 600 pages of documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.
Investigators interviewed dozens of family, friends and coworkers who say Cunningham struggled with his sexual identity, and in 2010, he suffered a mental breakdown.
Nell Reed, Cunningham's best friend, sent him a picture of her newborn. He was to be the baby's godfather, but he went missing days later.
Reed, who lives in Texas, said Cunningham talked to her about his feelings for men and that "he didn't consider himself gay."
Though he lived a down low lifestyle, Cunningham did not identity as gay.
Still, he talked to Reed about a same-sex hookup he had with a former Morehouse classmate.
“She said the person had been coming to Tim’s house and that Tim began to question whether the person was playing with his feelings,” police told the AJC.com.
The former classmate told a different story. He said Cunningham had been coming on to him -- and the feelings were not mutual.
About two weeks before Cunningham’s disappearance, the man blocked his number on his cell phone.
“He said he didn’t want to be confrontational because they moved in the same social circles but it was obvious to him that Mr. Cunningham was making light advances,” police wrote in the investigative file.
On Feb. 9, Cunningham was alone at El Bar in Atlanta when he saw his former classmate on a date with a woman. The two men shook hands. The following morning, Cunningham asked the man to go out for breakfast, but the man declined.
Cunningham's sister told police she knew her brother reconnected with a Morehouse classmate, but he also showed romantic interest in two women at work.
After a break, Cunningham was trying to begin dating again, his sister said.
On Feb. 7, Cunningham resigned from a special CDC team tasked with deploying to areas in need. The next day, he was told he did not get the promotion he wanted.