Christian Andreacchio was found dead in the upstairs of his apartment in Meridian, Mississippi on February 26, 2014. He was slumped over his bathtub and had been shot in the head.
Authorities with the Meridian Police Department rushed to the scene. After a 45-minute investigation, the 21-year-old’s death was ruled a suicide and the case was closed.
The determination of suicide shocked Andreacchio’s family. According to those who knew him the best, Andreacchio had big plans to become a boat captain. By all outside appearances, he appeared to be happy with his life — and had never shown any indication that he wanted to kill himself. The Andreacchio family maintains that Christian’s death was a result of foul play — and that they believe the physical evidence shows that he didn’t commit suicide.
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For one thing, Christian was not alone in the apartment. Two individuals were with him and both of them were originally named in arrest warrants that were never fulfilled by law enforcement. Both of the people in the apartment allegedly had gunshot residue on their hands.
Additionally, Andreacchio was right-handed, but the pistol was found by his left leg. It was also uncocked, with a live round in the chamber.
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The family hired their own forensic experts, who concluded that the blood spatters in the bathroom and the location of a bullet hole by the sink did not line up with the official explanation that Andreacchio had shot himself while kneeling over the tub.
Despite the alleged new evidence, the Meridian Police Department stands by their initial ruling of suicide and the family believes that they have been blocked by local and state agencies in their search for justice.
The mysterious death of Andreacchio is now being investigated in the podcast Culpable, available on Apple Podcasts. After its summer debut, it quickly landed in the top 20 on the Apple podcast charts, where it still remains.
The podcast, produced by Tenderfoot TV and Black Mountain Media, seeks to figure out what happened in the last minutes of Andreacchio’s life. The producers of Culpable feel so strongly that Andreacchio didn’t commit suicide that they have offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for Andreaccio’s death.
“The amount of exposure that we can generate for a case opens the door for new information, tips and witnesses to come forward, many of whom do not feel comfortable talking to police,” says Donald Albright, Tenderfoot executive producer. “In Christian’s case too many have turned a blind eye. It’s much harder to do that when we shine a bright light on their activities and go places where law enforcement is unwilling to go.”
The Meridian Police Department did not return PEOPLE’s call for comment.