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Missing epidemiologist was not passed over for promotion — CDC chief

14 March 2018

Police said Cunningham reported to work February 12 but told colleagues he didn't feel well and left early.

The CDC said reports of the job snub were incorrect.

Atlanta Police Maj. Michael O'Connor had previously stated in a news conference last month that Cunningham failed to obtain a promotion to branch manager and met with his supervisor to discuss the issue one week before he went missing.

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Cunningham's family has offered a $15,000 reward for information related to his disappearance. Crime Stoppers said the money is for information "that points to criminal activity in the disappearance".

Atlanta Police Sgt. John Chafee told CBS News the department stands behind previous statements made regarding Dr. Cunningham's employment, citing the CDC as the direct source of the information. "In fact, he received an early promotion/exceptional proficiency promotion to Commander effective July 1, 2017", she wrote.

Adding even more mystery to the freakish case, Chris Torry, a neighbor of Cunningham's, told WAGA that the CDC employee made a odd request a few days before he disappeared. "He told several co-workers that he was and that he was expecting this promotion".

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Atlanta police did not have further updates to provide Tuesday. However, the CDC said February 27 that the epidemiologist had received a promotion, but was upset that it wasn't the one he wanted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. In an Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40 Awards profile a year ago, Cunningham said he was "using the skills I have to improve and help the lives of others", referring to his work at the CDC.

"Dr. Cunningham's colleagues and friends at CDC hope that he is safe", agency spokeswoman Kathy Harben told The Post after his disappearance.

In the statement released Monday, the CDC said Cunningham's July promotion "reflects his excellence as an officer and an employee".

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Cunningham, 35, works as a team lead for the CDC's Division of Population Health.

Missing epidemiologist was not passed over for promotion — CDC chief