Alabama police face questions after Black woman's body is found in 'rarely used' police van
(Screenshot via CNN)

Police in Huntsville, Alabama, are facing questions after a woman's body was found in a "rarely used" police van in a police parking lot, CNN reports.

The body of Christina Nance was found on October 7 by a police officer in the Huntsville Public Safety Complex, Huntsville Deputy Police Chief DeWayne McCarver said at a news briefing Friday.

"The officer noticed shoes next to the van and approached, discovering Ms. Nance's body inside. Windows on the van were observed to be opened and on this type of van they popped outward," he said.

"All city vehicles should remain locked any time they are not in use or occupied," he said. "Sometimes, you just have to say that was something that shouldn't have happened. It did."

After reviewing security footage, investigators determined that Nance entered the van on her own.

"Ms. Nance is observed in the video, walking around the parking lot" on the 25th, McCarver said. "She lays down in the bushes at some point (and) she sits on the hood of a police car for some time. She approaches other cars in the parking lot. ... And this all happens for about 10 minutes before she enters the van."

"Cars go by, people walk nearby the van. We just wish that she would have hollered out to someone or something, because there were plenty of ... what we see as potential opportunities for this to not be a tragedy. And unfortunately, no one was able to realize she was in that van and that was the outcome," McCarver said.

McCarver went on to say that authorities at this point "have no idea of knowing what her state of mind was, what was going on there."

An autopsy found there was no foul play or bodily trauma.

McCarver said the department's Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers "know her pretty well."

"They have worked with her in the past to provide resources and different things," he said. "We are familiar with her -- very familiar with her."