Did She Kill Herself By Chugging Bactine Or Was She Murdered?

Holly Alexis
4 min readAug 14, 2021

[Alexandria, Virginia/Baltimore, Maryland]

Annie McCann (16) was a sweet, sheltered teen that barely knew how to work a flip phone. She never gave her parents any trouble. In fact, the most rebellious act Annie had ever done was recently get her ears pierced. To clean the new piercings, she used a cleaner known as Bactine.

On October 31st, 2008, her parents received a phone call from the school that Annie never arrived at school. Her parents were confused seeing as she had just spent the night prior preparing Halloween candy bags for all of the trick or treaters.

Just 48 hours later, a call was placed to Baltimore police saying that a “junkie” was found dead behind a dumpster. The body was identified as Annie McCann.

The location where her body was found was a high crime housing projects area that Annie didn’t know of. There was a large bump and a cigarette burn on her forehead, as well as a chipped tooth that police brushed off as minor abrasions.

An autopsy report determined that she had a small amount of alcohol in her system, but a deadly amount of lidocaine. Oddly enough, the Bactine she used to clean her new piercings contained lidocaine. An empty bottle of Bactine was found near her body that had her DNA on the lip, but none of her fingerprints were found on the bottle. Despite not finding any fingerprints on the Bactine, Annie’s cause of death was deemed suicide due to lidocaine poisoning.

Back in Virginia, police searched Annie’s room where they found multiple notes discussing her depression, anorexia, and suicidal thoughts. One note stated she originally planned to kill herself that morning, but changed her mind and decided to start a new life. She insisted that her family not come looking for her. The note ended with “I’ll be careful.” She took 1,000 dollars in cash, jewelry, her favorite clothes, and a box of Cheerios when she left the house.

Her car was found at a gas station nearby.

There was a fingerprint inside of the car that police were able to trace back to a local teenage boy, Darnell Kinlaw. He claimed that him and his friends found Annie’s dead body inside of her car and decided to dump her behind a dumpster so they could take the car for a joyride.

A famous medical examiner, Michael Baden, disputed this conclusion and explained that he didn’t believe Annie could kill herself using Bactine. According to him, there was not enough lidocaine in one bottle of to kill someone. The company that makes Bactine also vouched that the amount of lidocaine in one bottle is not lethal enough to take someone’ life. A study determined that it would take approximately 3 bottles to have deadly effects on a body that was Annie’s size. Furthermore, it did not seem possible to drink that much Bactine without being violently ill, but Annie’s autopsy showed she had a full stomach of food.

Some people have theorized that since Annie was struggling with an eating disorder, she used the Bactine to help her purge, but this time it ended up being deadly.

A private investigator hired by Annie’s family spoke to people in the area that her body was found at. One person said they spotted Annie on Halloween night hanging out with a disheveled looking woman in her late teens or early 20s. The Baltimore police did not believe that this anonymous woman had anything to do with Annie’s death.

Her case fell dead for 3 years, until another woman in Baltimore came up dead. The victim, Lakeisha Player, happened to be the girlfriend of Darnell Kinlaw. He had killed her during a domestic dispute and then stole her car. Darnell was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but maintained that he had absolutely nothing to do with Annie’s death. Annie’s family grew close with Lakeisha’s family and gifted Annie’s car to her aunt.

The medical examiner responsible for Annie’s body confessed that they lost Annie’s brain and heart making further analysis of her body not possible.

Even though Annie’s parents feel strongly that another person played a role in their daughter’s death, the Baltimore police have maintained their original conclusion that Annie committed suicide by drinking a whole bottle of Bactine.



Holly Alexis

25. Sociology & Criminal Justice Major. True Crime Fanatic. Cheap Shopper. Writer. All articles are tossed together from the comfort of my couch.