A popular podcast is tackling unsolved crime cases – one of which has ties to St. Charles Parish.
Culpable, a true crime podcast that debuted this month, takes an investigative dive into unsettled cases, such as that of Christian Andreacchio, who was 21-years-old when he was found dead as result of a single gunshot wound to the head in Meridian, Miss.
The death was initially ruled a suicide by police in Meridian, but Andreacchio’s family disputed that, pointing to evidence indicating he was murdered, and that the murder was premeditated. The investigation has been ongoing for the five years since the 2014 incident.
Andreacchio had local ties, as noted on the podcast – his job took him to St. Rose on what may have been the night of his death – the incident came not long after leaving his shift with the Magnolia Marine tugboat on the Mississippi River.
The Andreacchio case will be the first case tackled by the podcast – it will be the focus of its 15-episode first season centered around his death and his family’s search for answers – and justice.
According to a story by Mississippi Today’s Kate Royals, he was four days into a 30-day outing with the Magnolia when, according to a co-worker of Andreacchio, he allegedly began receiving calls from a male telling him he had seen Andreacchio’s girlfriend, Whitley Goodman, “riding around with a dope dealer” in Andreacchio’s BMW.
That co-worker, Cheryl Stanley, was not interviewed by police, according to the story.
Andreacchio requested he be allowed to find a substitute for his shift and leave for a day in order to deal with the situation, which he called a family conflict. Once he found a fill-in, he called a friend, Dylan Swearingen, and arranged to be picked up in St. Rose on the morning of Feb. 26. Swearingen drove him back to the apartment Andreacchio shared with Goodman. Later that night, Swearingen called 911 to report Andreacchio had taken his own life, shooting himself in the upstairs bathroom of his apartment.
Swearingen and Goodman were with Andreacchio on the day he died. Andreacchio’s parents maintain the two were involved in their son’s death. A grand jury chose to not indict the two in 2017, citing insufficient evidence to charge anyone.
The family maintained that to their knowledge, neither expert witnesses the family had hired to investigate forensic evidence, nor anyone who worked on the Magnolia with Andreacchio were interviewed by police. It has also claimed the crime investigation itself took merely 45 minutes.
Gunshot residue tests upon the hands of Goodman and Swearingen apparently came back positive. Goodman claimed that she had been shooting guns the day before the incident. The family’s attorney also asserted that an hour after Swearingen and Andreacchio arrived at the apartment, Swearingen was observed on a bank surveillance camera attempting to withdraw all of Andreacchio’s money.
The positioning of the gun in relation to Andreacchio’s body, and blood residue found outside of the bathroom walls have been among other questions for those disputing the ruling of suicide.