The Atlanta Police Department was clear: A researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had disappeared the same day he learned why he was passed over for a promotion.
But exactly one month after Timothy Cunningham vanished, abandoning everything he would need to survive and leaving no clues about his whereabouts, the CDC issued an unusual rebuke of that police finding.
“There has been news coverage that Commander Cunningham recently did not receive a promotion,” the CDC said in a statement Monday. “As many of his colleagues in the USPHS have pointed out, this information is incorrect.”
The statement referred to the U.S. Public Health Service, the uniformed service where Cunningham, 35, works as an epidemiologist.
“In fact,” the CDC statement continued, “he received an early promotion/exceptional proficiency promotion to Commander effective July 1, 2017, in recognition of his exemplary performance.”
The statement comes weeks after the Feb. 27 briefing by Maj. Michael O’Connor of the Atlanta police major crimes section said the CDC itself “did note that he had been up for this promotion, which he did not receive.”
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