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Woman went inside unlocked Huntsville Police van, got trapped and died

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:28 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - We have new information on the tragic death of a woman whose body was found in a police transport van.

Christina Nance’s body was discovered last week in a parking lot that belongs to the Huntsville Police department.

Investigators just released the surveillance video and they say it’s clear that Nance got into the van without any help.

A camera on top of Huntsville Police Headquarters captured this tragic situation.

Christina Nance went inside the unlocked Huntsville Police Van on September 25, trapping herself inside.

“We used that van to transport prisoners. Once you’re in that van, you can’t get out of that van. Somebody has to let you out of the van,” McCarver said.

Huntsville Police investigators combed through hours and hours of surveillance video.

Deputy Chief Dwayne McCarver tells us the camera also caught Nance pushing open a window in the van three days later.

“It was open plenty to hear outside the van, or to yell outside the van. Certainly there was access to the outside world through those windows.”

But no one knew she was there until October 7.

That’s when her body was found after a pair of shoes sitting outside the van caught an officer’s eye.

“We certainly have no idea of knowing what her state of mind was. It was just a tragedy and we wish it would’ve turned out differently.”

But they did know Nance. McCarver says the Crisis Intervention Team, which helps people who are in an altered mental state, has helped her in the past.

Friday, Nance’s family sat down with Huntsville Police to view the video themselves, but they don’t feel any closure because the video quality is so poor.

“That was just very heart breaking to know that we didn’t get the clarification that we needed, that we wanted which was just very sad.”

“We’re going to work though this with them. It’s a tragedy. As the police department, it’s our goal to do everything we can to serve them.”

As for the unlocked van, McCarver says that is a mistake they take seriously.

“Sometimes you just have to say that was something that shouldn’t have happened. It did. Our polices are such that that should not have happened and now we have to look at that and make sure we have things in place so that does not happen again.”

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