A 29-year-old Alabama woman who had been missing for 12 days was found dead inside a police van on Oct. 7, authorities said.
A police officer noticed a pair of shoes next to a parked van at the public safety complex in Hunstville in early October, the Washington Post reported.
Surveillance video released last Friday showed Christina Nance walking around the Huntsville Police Department headquarters on Sept. 25, then entering a blue and white police van, the newspaper reported.
Footage over the course of three days “showed movement inside the vehicle,” Deputy Chief Dwayne McCarver told the Washington Post. Her last steps were recorded on Sept. 28.
“We used that van to transport prisoners,” McCarver told WAFF. “Once you’re in that van, you can’t get out of that van. Somebody has to let you out of the van.”
Video showed Nance “pushing open a window three days after entering the vehicle,” the outlet reported.
“It was open (the window) plenty to hear outside the van or to yell outside the van,” McCarver told WAFF. “Certainly, there was access to the outside world through those windows.”
It was only on Oct.7, five days after Nance’s family reported her missing, that her body was discovered, according to the outlet.
Why she was in the van remains a mystery.
Huntsville police Chief Mark McMurray told Al.com that the department’s crisis intervention team had been in contact with Nance’s family for over a year and provided mental health resources in the past.
Now civil rights attorney Ben Crump is representing the family after they “questioned the circumstances surrounding her death,” the outlet said.
An autopsy conducted last week “showed no signs of foul play or trauma,” Madison County Coroner Tyler Berryhill told AL.com.
The official cause of death is pending further investigation by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, according to the Washington Post.
“Hopefully, many of the questions raised by the community and the family of this young woman will be answered,” Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels told AL.com. “We need to fully understand what happened to Ms. Nance so that we may prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.”