New video shows Christina Nance got into Alabama police van days before her death

Southeast

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Police say Christina Nance, 29, crawled into a Huntsville, Alabama, Police Department van and was there several days before her body was found.

Deputy Chief Dewayne McCarver led a news conference Friday afternoon in Huntsville to explain what investigators found in watching over a week’s worth of surveillance footage. But Christina Nance’s family says the video they watched left them with more questions than answers.

“I was thinking everything was going to be clear, there was going to be some type of clear indication of my sister … of how she died, but there wasn’t. Not any at all. Everything was blurry. I don’t know if that was my sister,” said Latausha Nance.

McCarver said Nance was first seen in the parking lot on Sept. 25, around 12:30 p.m. The footage showed Nance wandering in the parking area, lying in the bushes, sitting on the hood of a cruiser, and eventually climbing into the rear doors of the van where she was later found dead.

McCarver says the van was originally commissioned as a prisoner transport vehicle, meaning the doors would not open from the inside.

The windows did open, and Nance could be seen opening them several times in the footage.

The surveillance video shows movement in the van through Sept. 28.

Nance’s body was found on Oct. 7 by a police officer who was walking by the van and saw her inside. When the officer found her body, it was because he spotted her shoes under the open window of the van.

Nance’s family watched the video of her getting into the van Friday morning, family representative Frank Matthews said. Christina Nance’s family said the video they watched left them with more questions than answers. The family is represented by nationally known civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

The family plans to have a private autopsy conducted.

“The Huntsville Police Department’s thoughts are with the family during this tragedy,” said Police Chief Mark McMurray. “Investigators met with the family Friday morning and showed them the security video of the events leading up to Ms. Nance’s death. We will continue to work with them through this difficult time.”

Police have said the van where Nance’s body was found is used only occasionally to transport evidence and equipment. The van was last used in March 2021.  

Police have said there was no sign of foul play in Nance’s death. The official cause of death will be ruled by the State Medical Examiner once additional studies, including toxicology, are complete. 

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