Annie McCann's parents desperately want information about the death of their 16-year-old daughter, whose body was found behind a Baltimore trash bin last year after she ran away from her Alexandria, Va., home. But the father of a teenage boy recently charged with stealing the McCanns' car on the day the girl died says his son can't provide it.
"This is a dead end for what they want," Bryant Woodley Sr. said in an interview. "The boys don't know nothing."
He asked that his son, 16, not be named. The boy, a senior in high school, and another 16-year-old male have been charged as juveniles with auto theft, conspiracy and unauthorized use. They are not charged in McCann's November 2008 death, and they won't be, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday.
"This is not a homicide," he said. "DNA evidence has conclusively revealed that this was a suicide, and that's the Police Department's position."
But the McCanns don't accept that. They called the mayor's office last month and wrote an opinion piece published in The Sun a day later, criticizing what they characterized as police inactivity. And they recently told a television reporter that somebody knows more, including the boys accused of auto theft.
That's the report Woodley saw on his way out the door Thursday morning, prompting him to call The Baltimore Sun to "speak up for these young boys."
They're suspected of removing McCann's body from her parents' white Volvo sedan, dumping it next to a public housing trash bin in Upper Fells Point and going on a joy ride. A police report shows one boy's fingerprint was found in the car, and that teen named Woodley's son as an accomplice, the father said.
Woodley said his son was never inside the car, but that the high-schooler still probably knew what was happening and didn't do anything to stop it. And that appalls Woodley, as does the death of the young woman and its effect on her family - a pain he says he can't imagine feeling himself.
Police have been interviewing his son for a year; the boy even talked with the McCanns' private investigator, he said. And always, Woodley said, the boy told the same story. He was arrested on the auto theft charges late last month, shortly after the girl's family called the mayor's office.
He was taken out of school and into custody, Woodley said. Then he was held overnight and released to his parents under electronic home surveillance.
"The kid can't live his life," Woodley said. "I feel like it's a witch hunt, like somebody's got to pay."