A woman in Alabama who was missing for 12 days was later found dead in a parked, uninhabited police car in Huntsville, police said.
According to the Huntsville Police Department, an officer discovered the body of 29-year-old Christina Nances in the van, which was parked in a police station, on October 7th.
Nance’s family had not seen her since September 25 and reported her missing on October 2. A police officer discovered her body five days later. City cameras captured Nance, who entered the vacant van around noon. 12:30 a.m. Sept. 25, Huntsville Deputy Chief of Police Dewayne McCarver told reporters at a news conference last week.
Autopsy results from Madison County, Ala., Forensic office showed no fault or trauma in Nance’s death, according to police.
Her official cause of death will be determined by the Alabama State Medical Examiner once additional tests are completed.
Family members who saw the surveillance footage in the parking lot prior to the press conference are now calling for an investigation into her death.
“The video was not clear enough to indicate that it was our sister Christina Nance” who climbed into the van, her sister Whitney Nance told the local news station WAFF.
The surveillance footage released Friday shows Nance walking around a parking lot, lying in the bushes and sitting on the hood of a police car.
McCarver said she later walked up to other parked and uninhabited vehicles for about 10 minutes before getting into the parked police car. According to the video footage, it appears that no one else was present when Nance entered the van.
The officer who found Nance’s body says they observed shoes next to the parked van, approached the vehicle and spotted her body inside.
McCarver told reporters the van was unlocked, which violates “departmental policy” and “should not have happened.”
“All city vehicles should remain locked whenever they are not in use or occupied,” McCarver said. “Sometimes you just have to say it was something that shouldn’t have happened. It did.”
According to the police, the police car was bought in 1995 and was originally used to transport prisoners in prison. But in the early 2000s, the van was recycled and used by employees to “transfer evidence” approved for destruction from approved investigations.
“Because of its original design, it does not have handles inside. It was made to transport inmates,” McCarver said. “You can not quit once you are inside.”
The van was last used in March 2021, police say.
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