The parents of a 21-year-old Mississippi man who officials say committed suicide in 2014 have filed a lawsuit against Richie McAlister, the chief administrative officer of Meridian, accusing him of sharing the autopsy photos of their son with the public. Todd and Rae Andreacchio believe their son Christian was murdered, but a grand jury refused to indict two men accused of the crime. The case made national headlines when it was detailed on the podcast Culpable.
The family says that McAlister invited members of the public to come to his office to discuss the case in an attempt to convince them that Christian was not murdered and that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. During the meeting, he shared documents from the case, including the autopsy photos of Christian.
"His reasons for these extreme efforts are unknown to the Andreacchio's but they now must endure daily the knowledge that the graphic evidence of their most private and personal grief has simply become Ritchie McAlister's public water cooler," the lawsuit states.
After the case was featured on Culpable, the Meridian City Council voted to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to look into how officers handled the investigation into Christian's death. City Council Member Weston Lindemann tried to remove McAlister's salary after an audio recording was posted online in which McAlister allegedly threatened violence against Lindemann while discussing the autopsy photos.
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