On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

heavy-rain-night
38°
Showers
H 45° L 42°
  • heavy-rain-night
    38°
    Current Conditions
    Showers. H 45° L 42°
  • rain-day
    45°
    Today
    Showers. H 45° L 42°
  • cloudy-day
    54°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Cloudy. H 54° L 38°
Listen
Pause
Error

News on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Missing CDC worker passed up for promotion before disappearance, police say
Close

Missing CDC worker passed up for promotion before disappearance, police say

Missing CDC worker passed up for promotion before disappearance, police say
Photo Credit: Photo: WSB-TV

Cunningham hasn't been seen or heard from since Monday.

Missing CDC worker passed up for promotion before disappearance, police say

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researcher who disappeared more than two weeks ago had been passed over for a promotion at the center, police say. 

Atlanta police held a news conference Tuesday to give an update on the disappearance of Timothy Cunningham, 35. 

The case has captured national headlines. Channel 2’s Wendy Halloran was at the news conference Tuesday where police explained what they believe happened in the days before Cunningham’s disappearance.

“We were aware of some concerns at work that he had shared with us and there were some personal issues too,” his father, Terrell Cunningham, told Halloran. 

Timothy Cunningham is an epidemiologist with the chronic disease department of the CDC. 

Before his Feb. 12 disappearance, Cunningham previously learned he was being passed up for a promotion. He was about to find out why.

“He arrives at work and meets with his supervisor and the purpose of that meeting was to explain a promotion he did not receive to branch manager,” Maj. Michael O’Connor said. 


TRENDING STORIES:


Police said Cunningham tried to call his mother in Maryland, but she missed his call.

Cunningham was not seen on CDC surveillance cameras leaving the facility, nor was he captured on camera pulling his car into his garage. 

Investigators confirmed that Cunningham had texted his neighbor, asking him to tell his wife to remove him from her contact list. 

“He has such a history of being responsible and dependable that, that’s what puts us at such disbelief at this state,” Terrell Cunningham said. 

Atlanta police say they checked Timothy Cunningham's personal credit cards to see if they were being used, as well as phone records.

“We’ve gotten with the CDC and we’ve gone through and made sure his government credit cards aren’t being used. We’ve looked at the browser history on his desktop computer to make sure there’s nothing suspicious on it. We’ve checked his swipe card. We know the last time he checked in with the CDC,” O’Connor said. 

Addressing conspiracy theories that have circulated since his disappearance, investigators said Cunningham did not work in the infectious disease unit at the CDC.

"He had no access to classified material. He would not be the type of person that, you know, 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," O’Connor said.

A $10,000 reward has been issued for information on Cunningham’s whereabouts.

Anyone with information on the case should contact Atlanta police or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

Read More

News

  • The remains of six victims of a deadly volcano eruption in New Zealand have been recovered. Sixteen people were killed on White Island when a volcano there unexpectedly erupted Monday, The Associated Press reported. Eight military specialists recovered six of the eight victims believed to be on the island, and the bodies will be taken to Auckland for identification, CNN reported. Due to toxic gases still being released from the volcano, the team had to wear protective suits and breathing gear to be on the island, the AP reported. The search had to end as air supplies ran low, the New York Times reported. An additional recovery mission is planned to find a tour guide and boat captain who had taken tourists to the island. At least one of them is expected to be in the water, but the other person’s location is unknown, the AP reported. Forty-seven tourists, many from a Royal Caribbean cruise, and guides were on the island when the volcano exploded. Many of the people who survived were burned. Fifteen tourists not from Australia are in burn units across the country with 11 listed as very critical. Thirteen Australians who were part of the tour have all returned to their home country, the AP reported. Skin banks are sending tissues to hospitals to help treat the burns, as medical teams from Australia, Britain and the U.S. travel to New Zealand to help treat patients, the AP reported.
  • A Minnesota man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 24 years in prison in the death of his 13-day-old son. Michael Herkal, 33, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, nearly 16 months to the day after Apple Valley police responded to an Aug. 12, 2018, medical call for an infant not breathing, WCCO reported. The child died two days later, after doctors determined he had suffered a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain. Herkal was charged initially with felony assault and malicious punishment of a child, but three additional charges of murder were filed after authorities received the autopsy report, KARE11 reported. According to WCCO, Herkal initially told authorities his toddler pulled the newborn off the couch twice but later claimed the baby slipped from his hands and fell onto a coffee table during a diaper change. During his plea hearing, however, Herkal admitted he also shook the infant violently and slapped him, the TV station reported.
  • Major League Baseball announced substantial changes Thursday to its drug use and testing policy, multiple news outlets reported. In addition to removing marijuana from its “drugs of abuse” category – making it the first major US sports league to do so – the organization announced mandatory testing for the presence of opioids, cocaine, synthetic THC, LSD and fentanyl, ABC News reported. Per the policy revisions, players will still be tested for “natural cannabinoids” such as THC, CBD, and marijuana, but punishment for violations will now be treated similarly to those of the alcohol and violence policies, ABC News reported. 'Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties’ Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player’s Club or the Commissioner’s Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids,” the league, in association with its players union, stated. According to NPR, the policy changes will take effect during 2020 spring training.  “The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said in a prepared statement, adding, “It is our hope that this agreement - which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education - will help protect the health and safety of our Players.” Read more here and here.
  • Seeking emergency mental health assistance could soon be as simple as dialing 988, federal regulators announced Thursday. The Federal Communications Commission formally began the process Thursday to designate 988 as a nationwide suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. “The three-digit number is really going to be a breakthrough in terms of reaching people in a crisis,” Dwight Holton, CEO of suicide prevention nonprofit Lines for Life, told USA Today. “No one is embarrassed to call 911 for a fire or an emergency. No one should be embarrassed to call 988 for a mental health emergency.' According to The Wall Street Journal, the new hotline is intended to simplify access to services available currently by dialing 1-800-273-TALK, the existing National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Once operational, dialing 988 would connect callers to the existing hotline and then route them to nearby crisis centers equipped to provide assistance. “We believe this historical and critical effort will turn the tide on reducing suicides and promote mental wellness in the United States,” said a statement from Kimberly Williams, chief executive of Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit that administers the lifeline, The Journal reported. Read more here and here.
  • An emergency landing by a single-engine plane snarled traffic Thursday night on Interstate 5 in San Diego, multiple news outlets reported. Ian Gregor, public affairs manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, told KNSD the Cessna 182 made a hard landing on the southbound lanes around 7:15 p.m. Within 30 minutes authorities had re-opened two southbound lanes, KFMB reported. Carlsbad Fire Division Chief Mike Lopez told KNSD a man and a woman were on board traveling from the San Gabriel Airport in Los Angeles to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. According to KFMB, no injuries were reported, and the plane did not strike any motorists. “They did a pretty good job landing this thing,” Lopez told KNSD, adding, “The skill of that pilot, he did a stellar job.”
  • A Fort Gibson man recently showed off his blacksmith skills by taking first place in a competition television show. Nic Overton, 23, earned the top spot on the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire,” which is centered around blacksmith work. Along with bragging rights, Overton won a $10,000 prize. Overton told KOKI he’s been fascinated with blacksmithing since he was a child and crafted his first knife out of a railroad spike. He managed to turn his hobby into a career. He owns his own business called Nix Knives.