The manner of Cunningham's death has not yet been determined and it's not clear where exactly he entered the river, which authorities had already searched.
He was last seen leaving work February 12 after telling colleagues he didn't feel well. Posts online presented Cunningham as a flu vaccine whistleblower. The medical examiner found no ante- or postmortem wounds on Cunningham's body after he was recovered from the river.
But it would be well over a month before the body was found - by fishermen - in a hard-to-reach part of the river. In his home, they found his keys, phone, wallet containing his credit and debit cards and identification, and they even found his passport.
11 Alive reports that the information the Atlanta Police received came directly from the CDC. "I can't tell you that he was jogging, but those two things together seem to indicate that that's a possibility". He left work quickly, saying he felt ill, they said.
Cunningham drove off that day and was never seen alive again, even as his auto, credit and debit cards, dog, keys, and cellphone were all recovered at his home, the police said.
"The most unusual factor in this case is that every single belonging that we are aware of was located in the residence", O'Connor previously told reporters.
Tim was a treasured member of the CDC family and his work as an epidemiologist was invaluable to CDC's efforts to protect the health, safety, and security of Americans.More news: Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp: Mohamed Salah should be Player of the Year
Police previously had said they had no evidence of foul play, but could not rule it out.
The Times reports Cunningham was promoted in July to commander in the uniformed United States Public Health Service.
Friends said Cunningham was smart and caring, with a big grin and big hugs to match.
"CDR Timothy Cunningham's colleagues and friends at CDC are deeply saddened to learn of his death". He worked on public health emergencies including Superstorm Sandy, the Ebola outbreak and the Zika virus.
Gorniak added that the condition of Cunningham's body is "consistent" with having been in the water since the day he went missing and there were no signs of trauma or underlying medical conditions.
"It takes you to a place that the light is not shining in", Terrell Cunningham said. "This is extremely hard".