Woman dies trapped inside Huntsville Police Department vehicle

The Huntsville Police Department released new surveillance video that shows a woman getting into an unused police van weeks before she was found dead inside.

Posted: Oct 15, 2021 9:28 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2021 9:00 AM

The Huntsville Police Department released new surveillance video that shows a woman getting into an unused police van weeks before she was found dead inside.

The big question is, why did she die inside that van?

HPD surveillance video of Christina Nance

Police say the van was unlocked, so Christina Nance just opened the doors and stepped inside. However, once inside she was unable to get out because of special security measures built into the van.

"When we got to the van and found Ms. Nance in it, it was, those back doors were unlocked," says Deputy Chief Dewayne McCarver.

In a press conference on Friday, McCarver explained how Nance's body was discovered in an unused police van.

"She entered the van on September 25th around 12:30, just around noon," explains McCarver.

She wasn't found until an officer walked by the van two weeks later, on October 7th.

"The officer noticed shoes next to the van and approached noticing Ms. Nance's body inside," says McCarver.

For the past decade the van was used to transport evidence, but it's designed to transport inmates. There are no door handles on the inside. The security measure that prevents an inmate from escaping, would trap anyone inside.

"Once you're in that van you can't get out of that van, somebody has to let you out of the van," explains McCarver.

Surveillance video shows Nance did open the windows, which pop open from the inside.

"It was open plenty to hear outside the van, or to yell to outside of the van. Certainly there was access to the outside world through those windows," says McCarver.

Nance shouldn't have been able to enter the van in the first place, since city vehicles are supposed to be locked when not in use. This one was sitting unused since March.

"Sometimes you just have to say that was something that shouldn't have happened, it did. Our policies are such that that should not have happened, and now we have to look at that and we have to make sure that we have things in place so that does not happen again," says McCarver.

Nance's family reported Christina missing on Oct. 2, and originally said they last saw her on Sept. 27.

However, the video shows her entering the van on Sept. 25 and never leaving, so that confusion on the timeline is what delayed the officers in finding the correct surveillance video.

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