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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Judge orders release of body camera video involving man found dead on local brewery’s property

The family of Val D’Auvray are still searching for answers following the death of their son and brother.(WECT)

WILMINGTON (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 had a day before a man 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 officers handled their call with Val D’Auvray on April 17, 2022.

“Somebody pissed somebody off — because — they’re after me.”

READ MORE: Family of man found dead at TRU Colors wants answers

ALSO: Father of man found dead at brewery says video shows son telling police he was being chased

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 coroner 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 was found on TRU Colors property on April 18, 2022 with a head wound that led to his death. But 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 information his family was initially given by police doesn’t match what they’ve seen in the body camera video. He 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 are questions about the missing person’s report that the D’Auvrays filed nearly a week before Val’s run-in with police. The family was not immediately notified of the encounter and video does not show police mentioning a missing persons report upon running 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, officials would never know his family was searching for him.

Xan says 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 an accidental death?”

Questions any family would ask, but only time will tell if Val’s will get answers.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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