"We have not given up hope that he will soon be found", she said. A call to his sister before work was the last contact he had with his family, O'Connor said in the news conference, triggering a search for Cunningham's whereabouts.
Atlanta Police Department Major Michael O'Connor had initially said that on the morning of Cunningham's disappearance, the 35-year-old doctor spoke with his supervisor about a promotion that he didn't receive and expressed disappointment to several coworkers about being passed up for the position.
Last week, Cunningham's father released photos of the July promotional ceremony, hoping to set the record straight about his son's career and his demeanor on the day the epidemiologist left work. As many of his colleagues in the USPHS have pointed out, this information is incorrect.
On Tuesday, Atlanta police spokesman D.T. Hannah said in a statement: "We stand behind every statement the Atlanta Police Department made about Dr. Cunningham's employment, as our information came directly from the CDC".
Cunningham's keys, phone, wallet and identification were found at his home after he vanished.
Dr. Schuchat added Dr. Cunningham was promoted to commander effective July 1, 2017.
Police didn't find evidence of foul play, and efforts to find him in the woods near his home turned up empty, according to reports. Chafee said, "Our information came directly from the CDC".
Monday's statement from the CDC surely validates the family's efforts to set the record straight, stating "over and above any of his assignments at CDC, his early promotion within the United States Public Health Service reflects his excellence as an officer and an employee".
Adding even more mystery to the weird case, Chris Torry, a neighbor of Cunningham's, told WAGA that the CDC employee made a unusual request a few days before he disappeared. Authorities are now offering a $15,000 reward for information into his disappearance.