When Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist Timothy Cunningham, 35, was “found along the banks of a river” following his disappearance, a lot of questions were asked. As Yahoo News has confirmed today, the answers that have been found offer very little peace and solace to those who knew him.
ABC News has learned that officials have ruled the man’s death a “suicide by drowning.” Cunningham’s tests showed that he had smoked some marijuana (not a factor in his demise) and decided to end it all, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office told the Associated Press. Many people are asking how such a thing can be said with a straight face, however.
The epidemiologist was a Harvard graduate “and commander in the U.S. Public Health Service,” a man called when Ebola or Zika outbreaks threaten the public.
Cunningham left the CDC office in Atlanta, Georgia on February 12 after complaining that he was ill. Everything that he possessed, even his dog, was left at his house, adding to the heaviness of his act.
His family informed police that he had gone missing and when the authorities began looking for him, the Harvard grad was found dead on “April 2 along the banks of the Chattahoochee River.”
His grieving parents said that their son did suffer from mood swings but had never been diagnosed with depression, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported. This is a factor that makes many pundits wonder if this death was swept under the carpet.
The medical examiner found no signs whatsoever “of foul play,” so it appears that Cunningham was not murdered, thankfully.
He seemed to be at the height of a wondrous career, and a man who had some of the most prestigious credentials in his entire field. So, the suicide by drowning report is baffling.
There are not many people who find their phones ringing during an Ebola scare who can really do much to help, and Cunningham was one of them.
As the family comes to terms with what took place on the river’s shore, it is hoped that some closure can be gained as this sad chapter ends.