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Fairfax couple have questions about daughter's death

"I think it's distinctly possible she's the victim of a sophisticated predator," Daniel McCann said.

Considered and dismissed, police said. "That investigation is done," said Maj. Terrence McLarney, head of the Baltimore police department's homicide unit, which investigated 234 homicides last year along with dozens of suicides and unattended deaths.

"Annie drank Bactine," McLarney said. "It's just a poison. People drink poison. It's true we can't find another one with Bactine. When they decide to kill themselves, they use what is there. The point is, she poisoned herself."

In his first detailed interview about the McCann case, McLarney said that Baltimore police spent 1,200 hours trying to figure out what happened to Annie, although they determined almost immediately that she was not a homicide victim.

She had no wounds or bruising, external or internal, McLarney said. "We know it's not a homicide at that point," he said. But police investigated anyway, trying to determine whether someone was luring young people to Baltimore and "trying to give the McCanns some closure," McLarney said. "I feel really bad for them. I have a son myself."

Daniel McCann responded: "What gives Major McLarney the omniscience to understand the circumstances under which lidocaine was ingested in a greater volume than a full container of Bactine? The idea that a human being, in despair, would say, 'Maybe this will do it' and knock down large quantities of it is preposterous. How the hell did that much lidocaine get in her?"

The McCanns want the investigation reopened and have turned to the Baltimore mayor's office for help.

Baltimore police say that isn't happening. In a letter McLarney wrote to his superiors in September, he said that "the homicide section of BPD went the extra mile . . . but the simple truth is that Annie McCann was not murdered. Expending further investigative hours on her death is not warranted."

On Friday night, a Baltimore deputy mayor sent the McCanns a letter saying that the case would not be reopened. "In mourning this weekend," Daniel McCann said. "We are again bitterly disappointed."

'Nothing was wrong'

Still, the maze of contradictions remains.

"She always had a smile on her face," said Tiara Suggs, a friend of Annie's since middle school. "She was a happy person, a religious person. The day before she went missing, we had lunch together. Nothing was wrong." She said that Annie stayed late to earn extra credit in a class that day and that she was looking forward to a trip to New York on Nov. 1 to visit her brother at college.

The next day, Oct. 31, 2008, Annie didn't show up at West Potomac High. Her parents weren't notified until late in the afternoon and couldn't find her. When they called police, a Fairfax officer found a note that started, "This morning, I was going to kill myself. But I realized I can start over instead. . . . If you really love me, you'll let me go." Another note was later found under her bed. It also mentioned suicide.

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