Surveillance shows Christina Nance was in Huntsville Police van several days before her body was found


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

Deputy Chief Dewayne McCarver explained Friday what investigators found in watching over a week’s worth of surveillance footage. But 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 being, you know … of how she died, but there wasn’t. Not any like at all, everything was blurry. I don’t know if that was my sister,” says Latausha Nance.

McCarver said Nance was first seen in the parking lot on Saturday, 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 said the van was originally commissioned as a prisoner transport vehicle, meaning the doors would not open from the inside.

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

The surveillance video shows movement in the van through Tuesday, 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. Family members 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 only used 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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