The parents of Annie McCann, the young Virginia girl who disappeared from her suburban Washington home four years ago and was found dead in Baltimore, say there is a "significant new investigative lead" in the case.
Mary Jane and Daniel McCann plan to discuss the information at a news conference on Thursday in Washington. In a statement, the long-grieving parents say they held a "promising meeting" with the new head of the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit.
Annie, who was 16, left her home in Alexandria, Va., in November 2008 and was found dead near a trash bin in the Perkins Homes public housing complex in Southeast Baltimore. An autopsy determined that Annie had died from a lethal dose of lidocaine from a bottle of Bactine, and police said the death appeared to be a suicide. The state medical examiner ruled the cause of her death undetermined.
Her parents have spent years pushing city police to reopen their investigation, convinced their daughter was murdered. The parents have threatened to sue city police, calling the investigation lazy, held news conferences, put up billboards and hired private investigators.
Daniel McCann said on Wednesday that he met with the city's new homicide commander, Lt. Col. Garnell Green. "He's a nice guy," McCann said, adding that the commander did not make any promises about the investigation.
"We still have hope," McCann said.
Anthony Guglielmi, the Baltimore Police Department's chief spokesman, confirmed the meeting between Green and the McCanns but said nothing has changed. "Absent any new evidence, the case remains an open investigation," the spokesman said.
Police have said in the past that while the case remains open, authorities continue to believe that Annie committed suicide and that detectives are not actively pursing other leads.
In November of last year, a man who had taken Annie's car shortly before her body was found was charged with killing a Northeast Baltimore woman. The McCanns have always believed that teen and others involved with taking the car knew more than they told police about Annie, and hoped that detectives might use the new charges as leverage.