Lawsuit filed against Meridian official over unauthorized display of autopsy photos

Parents of Christian Andreacchio seek justice for their son

The parents of Christian Andreacchio have taken legal action by filing a lawsuit against Richie McAlister, chief administrative officer of Meridian. They accuse McAlister of intentionally causing emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy. The Meridian Star reported that the Andreacchios firmly believe McAlister obtained a copy of the investigative file through an unauthorized source, unrelated to the Attorney General’s office.

In their legal complaint, the Andreacchios allege that McAlister invited individuals to visit his office to view the autopsy photos of Christian Andreacchio. McAlister personally analyzed these photos and concluded that their son took his own life. The Andreacchios assert that this public display of deeply personal and sensitive imagery is a violation of their privacy and has caused them immense anguish.

Christian Andreacchio

According to the Meridian Police Department, Christian Andreacchio, aged 21, was found dead in his apartment bathroom on February 26, 2014. The cause of death was ruled as suicide following a brief investigation and an autopsy. However, Andreacchio’s mother, Rae Andreacchio, strongly believes that foul play was involved in her son’s tragic demise.

The Andreacchios’ legal complaint calls for a jury trial to seek justice for their son. The Meridian Star attempted to contact McAlister for comment, but he did not respond to their inquiries. The lawsuit alleges that McAlister’s motives for publicizing the autopsy photos remain unknown to the Andreacchios. They now live with the daily knowledge that their private grief has become the topic of discussion around McAlister’s proverbial water cooler.

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In November, the Meridian City Council passed a resolution, with a 4-1 majority, that requested the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Christian Andreacchio’s case. Weston Lindemann, a councilman representing Ward 5 in Meridian, made an attempt to halt McAlister’s salary due to concerns about an audio recording. The recording, which was subsequently shared online, appeared to depict McAlister making threats of violence against Lindemann and discussing photographs associated with Andreacchio’s death.

Parallel to this lawsuit against McAlister, Christian Andreacchio’s parents have also taken legal action against Frankie Wagner, a resident of Hattiesburg. They accuse Wagner of uploading their son’s autopsy photos online and actively encouraging others to dismiss the theory of homicide. Wagner defended himself by claiming that any information obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request should be considered public record. He argued that the decision to release the files and photos was at the state’s discretion.

Christian Andreacchio’s story has gained attention through the true crime podcast, “Culpable.” The podcast explores the efforts made by his family to uncover the truth and find the person responsible for his death. According to evidence presented in the podcast, two individuals were present with Andreacchio in his apartment and were initially the subjects of arrest warrants. However, a grand jury in Lauderdale County decided not to indict them in connection with Christian’s death.

Moreover, forensic experts have disputed the official explanation of Andreacchio’s death, stating that the blood splatters in the bathroom and the location of the bullet hole near the sink do not align with the alleged suicide scenario. These discrepancies have raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his passing.

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