Missing CDC researcher Timothy Cunningham was indeed promoted prior to his disappearance, agency officials clarified late last month.
News reports and investigators have said Dr. Cunningham told co-workers February 12 he wasn't feeling well and had been denied a promotion. In fact, he received an early promotion/exceptional proficiency promotion to Commander effective July 1, 2017, in recognition of his exemplary performance in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS).
Despite reports he disappeared right after he was passed over for a promotion, Dr. Schuchat said he'd been given an "early" promotion to the rank of commander, effective July 1 of a year ago, for his "exemplary performance".
Atlanta Police said that Cunningham was told he wouldn't receive a promotion a week before he went missing. Dr. Cunningham left work early that day after telling colleagues he didn't feel well.
"He told my husband to tell his wife - me - to erase his cellphone number from my cellphone", Tory said.
Schuchat also said that they have not "given up hope that he will soon be found".
In a statement from the government agency, officials said that information in the news that claimed Cunningham had been passed over for a promotion was untrue. "If anyone reading this has information about the whereabouts of Commander Cunningham, please come forward". "Any further questions about Dr. Cunningham's employment, or this statement issued by the CDC today, would need to be answered by the CDC", the statement read.
Now a $15,000 reward is being offered for anyone with information leading to an arrest or indictment.