Judge orders release of body camera video involving man found dead on local brewery’s property
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A New Hanover County Superior Court Judge has agreed to allow the release of body camera footage from the Wilmington Police Department regarding an incident police with a man the day before he was found dead on the property of a local brewery. WECT and Port City Daily have continued to follow the story and the circumstances that led to his death. Now, the video and audio gives a firsthand look into how police handled their call with Val D’Auvray on April 17, 2022.
“Somebody pissed somebody off --- because --- they’re after me.”
Those are some of the last words Val D’Auvray told police one day before he was found dead with a wound to his head. Police and medical professionals say it was an accident --- his brother Xan doesn’t agree.
“The thing that leaves me feeling the sickest right now, the first conversation we had within the first week with the corner is that a weapon could have caused Val’s injury. In the video you can hear him say one of the people chasing him had a bat,” Xan D’Auvray said.
Val D’Auvray’s body was found on Tru Colors property on April 18, 2022. However, the video taken just one day before his death show police responded to a call at a nursing facility where they cited him for trespassing -- but didn’t arrest him. His family initially hoped the video would help shed some light on what happened to Val. Instead, they’re left with more questions.
Despite his family filing a missing person report about a week before his death, video shows the responding officers running his name through a computer, nothing is mentioned about him being missing. His family says they don’t think their report ever made it into the system, and officers that night simply didn’t know.
Val D’Auvray’s father, who also goes by Val, told WECT and Port City Daily that things were not adding up based off what police told him happened, and what body camera footage shows.
He says the information his family was initially given by police doesn’t match what they’ve seen in the body camera video. Val D’Auvray says a detective with the Wilmington Police Department told him several things about the encounter police had with his son that aren’t accurate.
“We were given the wrong day of the 911 call - also the wrong location,” his father said.
Then there’s the questions about the missing person’s report that the D’Auvray’s filed nearly one week before Val’s run in with police. The family was not immediately notified of the encounter and video does not show police mentioning any sort of missing persons report on him when they appear to run his name through a computer program. But officers likely don’t know the names and details of every missing person filed with the department, so if that report wasn’t processed properly, officers on scene would never know that his family was searching for him.
Xan says after seeing the video he has one question for the public.
“After seeing that video or seeing the pieces of the video that you saw from the police cam footage --- what would you guys think? Do you guys still think that this was an accident, does this still seem accidental death?”
Questions any family would ask, but only time will tell if Val’s family will ever get those answers.
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