By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun
10:10 AM EST, November 12, 2012
The family of Annie McCann, the Virginia teenager found dead near a Baltimore housing project in November 2008, have increased the reward they're offering for tips in the case - to $15,000 - and launched a new website.
Dan and Mary Jane McCann have been fighting the city since their daughter mysteriously ran away from their Fairfax County, Va., home on Nov. 2. An autopsy determined that Annie, 16, had died from a lethal does of lidocaine from a 5-ounce bottle of Bactine, used to treat pierced ears. She left a letter that police concluded was a suicide note.
The McCanns have repeatedly alleged that detectives botched the case, and have long felt that police have lied or misstated pertinent facts. They pushed prosecutors to go after the youths who took Annie's car after she died, and have accused the state medical examiner of losing Annie's heart and brain after the autopsy. As for the suicide note, her parents note she wrote that that she thought about killing herself but had changed her mind and decided to run away.
The new website, Justice For Annie, includes information about the case, and expert testimonials casting doubt on the police findings.
"It strains the imagination beyond what is rational to believe that a person intent on dying would choose this obscure and extremely uncertain method of attempting to take her life," reads a blurb from Dr. Keith Ablow, a forensic psychiatrist who appears regularly on Fox News.
They also say they contacted the makers of Bactine, who told them that drinking a bottle would "not be expected to produce death." Police have previously said that the company told them otherwise.
"We have in writing from the makers of Bactine that they never told the Baltmore police any such thing," Dan McCann says in a video posted to YouTube. "That's a lie [by police] ... to support a very specific, unprecedented and wrongheaded theory as to the cause of Annie's death."
The increase in the reward, and the launching of the website and videos, are just the latest expenditures the family have made in their quest to revive the investigation, draining their life savings to pay for billboards, private investigators, and other expert consultations.
Police have maintained that none of the questions or new details brough forward by the family has swayed what detectives see in the evidence.
"There is just no evidence of murder, forensic or otherwise," police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said earlier this year. "It makes it difficult to question people when there isn't any evidence to support a particular crime. We will certainly entertain anything new that points to a homicide."
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