FLORENCE, Ala. — Authorities on Monday issued a warrant for the arrest of a prison official who they believe helped an inmate awaiting trial for murder escape from an Alabama prison. A search was underway for the pair.
Inmate Casey Cole White, 38, was shackled and handcuffed when he and Vicky White, assistant director of corrections at the facility, left the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama on Friday morning. They have not been seen since, although the patrol vehicle the couple used when leaving the detention center was found in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center after it was discovered that they were missing.
Authorities have no idea where they are, although the inmate should be recognizable by their size. He is 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 meters) tall and weighs around 260 pounds. Authorities have warned that anyone seeing the pair should not approach them.
“We consider them both dangerous and in all likelihood both individuals are armed,” U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said at a press conference on Monday. He noted that Casey White will “stand out” due to his size even though he changed his appearance.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said Monday they issued a warrant for Vicky White’s arrest for allowing or permitting an escape. She is not related to White.
She violated a policy that required more than one official to be involved in her transportation, according to Singleton. The policy was put in place when White was imprisoned two years ago and authorities believed he was planning to escape.
“We know she participated, whether she did it voluntarily or if she was coerced, threatened in some way to participate in the case, not really sure. We know for sure that she participated,” Singleton said.
Vicky White told her colleagues that she was taking him to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation. But Singleton later said no such assessment was planned. He said the video showed the couple leaving the jail and heading straight for that parking lot.
“Casey White, as you’ve heard me say over and over again, is an extremely dangerous person and we need to locate him and get him off the streets,” Singleton said.
White was already serving time in prison for attempted murder and burglary when he disappeared. He was due to stand trial next month for stabbing a 58-year-old woman to death. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
The US Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information.
The sheriff said he was shocked by the events that unfolded.
“She’s not the Vicky White we know, by any stretch of the imagination,” the sheriff said.
Singleton said Vicky White had been an exemplary employee and the prison workers were “just devastated”.
Vicky White had planned to retire and this Friday was to be her last day. He said she sold her house about a month ago and “talked about going to the beach”.
The sheriff said they have no leads at this point on the location of the two.
“If we knew where they were, we would be there and not here,” Singleton said.
The US Marshals Service said anyone with information about Casey White’s location or Vicky White’s disappearance can call the service at 1-800-336-0102. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through the US Marshals Tip app.