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No reward money for fishermen who spotted CDC researcher’s body

A seven-week search to find a missing CDC researcher ended late Tuesday because of two alert fishermen who spotted a body in the Chattahoochee River, according to police. But the two men aren’t eligible for any of the $15,000 in reward money for their 911 call that led investigators to Timothy Cunningham’s body, Atlanta police said. 

“They are not,” Officer Stephanie Brown said. “The Crime Stoppers reward is for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.”

Cunningham, 35, disappeared from his northwest Atlanta home on Feb. 12 after leaving work and telling colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention he was ill. All of his personal belongings were found in his home, including his dog.

04/05/2018 -- Atlanta, GA - Fulton County Chief Medical Examiner Jan Gorniak, center, answers questions during a press conference at the Atlanta Police Department headquarters, Thursday, April 5, 2018.  The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office says that Cunningham likely drowned while on a run. His body was found surrounded by mud in the river. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJ)C.COM (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJ)

On Thursday, the remains found in the river were identified as belonging to Cunningham, the Fulton County Medical Examiner said. Investigators believe Cunningham drowned, though the circumstances surrounding his death are unknown.

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