The family of Alabama woman Christina Nance say surveillance video showing her climbing into a police van two weeks before she was found dead raises more questions than it answers.
At a press conference, Huntsville PD Deputy Chief Dewayne McCarver shared surveillance footage of Ms Nance entering the vehicle on 25 September.
The grainy footage showed Ms Nance wandering in the parking area, lying in bushes, sitting on the hood of a police cruiser, and eventually climbing into the rear doors of the van.
Mr McCarver said movement could be seen in the van until 28 September, and members of the public could be seen walking nearby.
Ms Nance was reported missing by her family on 2 October, and she was found dead by a police officer five days later.
Police conducted an autopsy and say there were no signs of injury, but the woman’s family have ordered a second independent autopsy and hired high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent them.
Ms Nance’s sister Latausha said the video failed to give the family the answers they were hoping for.
“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,” Latausha Nance told NewsNation.
“Not any at all. Everything was blurry. I don’t know if that was my sister.”
The family plans to have a private autopsy conducted.
Police have said the van where Ms Nance’s body was found is only used occasionally to transport evidence from crime scenes, and had sat unused March 2021.
A preliminary autopsy found no sign of foul play in her death, and the official cause of death will be ruled by the State Medical Examiner once additional studies, including toxicology, are complete.
Mr McCarver said Ms Nance was the victim in this case and he didn’t want to unfairly malign her, but added she was well known to their crisis intervention team.
“We are very familiar with her. We have worked to get her different resources,” Mr McCarver said.
“It’s just a tragedy,” he added.
Investigators met with the family on 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 Chief Mark McMurray said.
A GoFundMe has been set up seeking help with funeral expenses.
Whitney Nance wrote on the page that “she was very loved, a very good person, a funny and fun person to be around.”
She added that her sister’s life “was taken too soon”.
“If you knew her you would love her spirit, she was very smart and loving,” she wrote.
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