A 25-year-old Alabama corrections officer disappeared Friday with an inmate charged with capital murder.
Deputy Director of Corrections Vicki White left the Lauderdale County Jail at 9:41 a.m. Friday with inmate Casey White, Sheriff Rick Singleton told reporters at a news conference. (The two Whites are not related.) The officer told prison officials that she was accompanying White to a mental health evaluation at the courthouse, Singleton said. No such evaluation was ever planned.
Singleton said Vicki White dropped the inmate off at the courthouse and told a booking agent she was going to see a doctor. When the officer attempted to contact her later that afternoon, her phone went straight to voicemail. It was then that prison officials recorded that Casey White had not been returned to his cell, sparking a hunt for the criminal and the correctional officer.
Casey White was charged with two counts of capital murder in September 2020 in the brutal stabbing of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway. White was already serving time for a series of crimes in 2015 that involved a home invasion, carjacking and police pursuit, according to local news station WHNT. He wrote a letter to corrections officials asking for Lt. Brad Potts of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, to whom he confessed to the murder and provided never-before-seen details. He was awaiting trial at Lauderdale County Jail when he disappeared.
Singleton said Friday the department was “still aggressively investigating and trying to figure out what happened” in the disappearance. Authorities were monitoring the parking lot of a local mall where Vicki White’s patrol car was found empty Friday morning, looking for video footage that may reveal another getaway vehicle. The department was also reviewing Casey White’s prison logs and phone calls for additional clues. The FBI and other local law enforcement agencies are participating in the search.
Authorities were also trying to discern whether there was a pre-existing relationship between the two white people. Singleton said Vicki White was an “exemplary employee” who had been voted supervisor of the year on several occasions. “Everyone in this office is shocked that she is missing and that this happened,” he said. “We are in disbelief. »
The department would continue to treat Vicki White’s disappearance as a kidnapping unless it found compelling evidence that she helped the inmate escape, Singleton said. Either way, he added, “I think she is in danger regardless of the circumstances. »
” [Casey White] was in jail for capital murder,” Singleton said. “He has nothing to lose. »