A warrant has been issued for an Alabama corrections officer who disappeared with an inmate on Friday — the day she was due to retire, authorities said Monday.
The officer, Vicky White, is wanted for enabling or facilitating the escape of capital murder suspect Casey White from the Lauderdale County Jail, Sheriff Rick Singleton said at a news conference. Vicky and Casey White are not related.
“We know she was involved” in his escape, Singleton said. “Whether she did it voluntarily or whether she was coerced or threatened, we are not really sure, but we know for sure that she participated. »
Vicky White, 56, the facility’s assistant director of corrections, had talked about retiring for months, thinking about all the time she’d be spending on the beach, Singleton said. She had sold her house and her last day on the job as a Lauderdale County correctional officer was to be Friday.
“She’s not the Vicky White we know by any stretch of the imagination,” Singleton said. “Everyone thought she was going to retire. »
“No one saw this coming,” he added.
Singleton said all possibilities regarding Vicky and Casey White’s relationship were being considered, including a romantic relationship. Officials are reviewing prison video footage to see if Vicky White spent excessive time near Casey White’s cell.
Casey White, 38, was charged with two counts of capital murder in September 2020 for stabbing Connie Ridgeway, 58, and he was already in jail in connection with a 2015 home invasion, hijacking car and a police chase, according to the US Marshals Service. He confessed to stabbing Ridgeway and was awaiting trial in Lauderdale County Jail when he disappeared, according to the agency.
The US Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of Vicky and Casey White. Authorities said on Monday they had received several reports.
Vicky and Casey White left the detention center, allegedly for a mental health assessment in court. But investigators have since confirmed that such an assessment was never planned, Singleton said over the weekend.
As she was leaving, Vicky White told the booking agent that she would be going to a medical appointment after dropping Casey White off because she was not feeling well. But she didn’t have a date scheduled, Singleton said.
She also transported the suspect on her own – a strict violation of policy requiring two sworn deputies to transport a person on these charges, the sheriff said.
The marked 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car they were traveling in was later found at a mall, Singleton said. Surveillance video shows the two went straight to the mall and never stopped at the courthouse.
Officers realized the pair were missing around 3:30 p.m. Friday when Vicky White’s phone went straight to voicemail after multiple attempts to contact her, Singleton said, adding that it was later confirmed that Casey White had never returned to the detention center either.
Vicky White had a 9mm firearm, and it was unclear if any other weapons were in the patrol vehicle, Singleton said.
Casey White is 6-foot-9, weighs about 260 pounds, and has brown hair and hazel eyes, U.S. Marshals said. On Sunday afternoon, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office released its final photo of White.
“He’s a great individual,” Singleton said. “He’s going to stand out. »
But he warned the public not to approach Casey White. Even the police who might encounter him should be on alert.
“I can’t stress this enough for our brothers and sisters in blue, if you come across this guy you need to know he’s dangerous, don’t take any chances,” Singleton said. “He has nothing to lose. It is extremely dangerous. »