Alabama coroner says no foul play after dead body found inside police van

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021

An autopsy confirmed that a woman found dead inside a police van parked outside headquarters wasn’t the victim of foul play and didn’t suffer any trauma, an official said Wednesday.

Dr. Tyler Berryhill, Madison County’s coroner, said the examination by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences was conducted Tuesday, but a cause of death for Christina Nance, 29, won’t be determined until the results of toxicology tests are available, which can take weeks or longer.

Authorities said an officer walking to a police car found Nance’s body in an old, unused Huntsville Police Department van parked outside the Huntsville Public Safety Complex last Thursday. It wasn’t clear how long the body had been inside, and Berryhill refused comment on details including a possible time of death.

Relatives of Nance have demanded that authorities release more information about her death. A civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, said he had been retained by the family.

“We will get to the truth of what happened to Christina Nance, the young Black woman found dead in the police van in front of the Huntsville Police Department,” he said in a statement. “We lift up Christina’s family with prayer as they mourn this devastating loss.”