The Meridian City Council passed a resolution Tuesday requesting the U.S. Department of Justice open an investigation into the Christian Andreacchio case.
Rae Andreacchio, the man's mother, formally asked the council to do so late last month.
Police ruled the 21-year-old's 2014 death a suicide, but his mother has said the family has reason to believe he was killed.
“This has been an ongoing issue for months and so I’m going to vote for it,” said council member Tyrone Johnson, who represents Ward 2. “Today we’re going to show the nation that Meridian backs our citizens. This council backs our citizens.”
Ward 1 council member George Thomas said that based on the legal opinion of the city attorney, he was not willing to vote for the investigation until the resolution of a possible violation of a federal law.
The council's 4-1 vote was followed by applause from a group that attended the city council meeting.
“I think it's a good first step,” Rae Andreacchio said later, adding that it remains to be seen if the Justice Department would respond to the city's request. “We're happy with the vote and the outcome and we know that we still have a long way to go.”
In 2017, a Lauderdale County grand jury declined to indict two people in connection with Christian Andreacchio's death.
Two months ago, the creators of a popular podcast about the case announced a reward of up to $100,000 for new information leading to a conviction.
“As soon as they sign off on everything, I’ll sign off so that can move forward,” said Mayor Percy Bland following the meeting. “We have nothing to hide.”
Cut back on golf carts
In other matters Tuesday morning, the city council voted to approve a lease agreement with Ben Nelson Golf & Outdoor for golf carts for Lakeview Golf Course.
The contract is for 15 golf carts, half of what the city normally rents, according to Bland.
The city's fiscal year 2020 budget does not include a general fund transfer of $100,000 to cover the gap between revenue and expenses at Lakeview.
“We’re trying to market (Lakeview) and to keep it open and if we can keep it open with the resources we have, we’ll try to do that,” Bland said. “If not, we’ll have to make some decisions to shut it down.”