A reward for help finding an Atlanta man who has been missing for nearly two weeks swelled to more than $20,000 as his family and authorities were coming up empty trying to find him. Timothy Jerrell Cunningham went home sick from his place of work on Feb. 12 and hasn’t been heard from since.
His “sudden disappearance is highly irregular and very much out of character for him,” according to the GoFundMe page that was started Tuesday. “We are launching this fundraising campaign to collect funds that will be used to establish a reward for information that will help locate Tim.”
Cunningham, who got his undergrad degree from Morehouse College before going on to earn two graduate degrees at Harvard, including his doctorate, is an epidemic intelligence officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His co-workers said the last time the saw him was when he left to go home sick that fateful day.
The lengthy absence that has turned suspicious prompted Cunningham’s parents to travel from Maryland to look for their 35-year-old son. When they used a spare key to enter his home, they found Cunningham’s cellphone, wallet, keys, his car and his dog, which his father said he loved.
“It’s not the type of news you want to hear,” his father, Terrell Cunningham, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday. “Your child is missing. Thirty-five years old, but always your child.”
He continued: “This is not normal. This is definitely out of the ordinary.”
The elder Cunningham said the disappearance was especially strange because of a phone conversation he had with his son the day before he went missing.
“Tim had been in communication with us extensively on Sunday [Feb. 11], and I pinpoint Sunday because there were some exchanges via phone as well as text that alerted me to be concerned about our son,” his father told NBC News.
Tim, as he was casually known, went to college with social justice journalist Shaun King before going on to earn two graduate degrees from Harvard University, including his doctorate. King made a social media plea for help to his thousands of followers.
“Have you seen this man?,” King’s asked in a Facebook status update posted on Monday above two pictures of the missing epidemiologist. “Tim Cunningham was my classmate at Morehouse & a Harvard grad.”
Many other people on social media claiming to be Cunningham’s friends have also made similar appeals to the public, accompanied by a #findTimATL hashtag that was created specifically to help find him.
Cunningham’s mother made a public plea in case her son happened to be reading any of the media coverage surrounding his disappearance.
“Tim, if you see any of this information please know that you can come back home,” Tia-Juana Cunningham said, according to NBC News. “We love and miss you. We just want you back in our arms.”
Reward To Find Missing Morehouse Grad Grows In Suspicious Disappearance was originally published on newsone.com