The relationship between Vicky White, Deputy Director of Corrections for Lauderdale County in northwest Alabama, and now-fugitive Casey White was confirmed in part thanks to advice from inmates at the county detention center, Sheriff Rick Singleton told CNN.
“We have confirmed through independent sources and other means that there was in fact a relationship between Casey White and Vicky White outside of her normal working hours – no physical contact, but a relationship of a different nature. “said Singleton.
“We were told Casey White had special privileges and was treated differently at the facility than other inmates,” Singleton said.
Authorities are looking for both Vicky White and Casey White, who are unrelated, after the corrections officer left the Lauderdale County Detention Center on Friday morning with the 38-year-old inmate while he was handcuffed and shackled in his patrol car, the sheriff mentioned.
Vicky White said she was taking Casey White to a courthouse for a mental health assessment and would then go for treatment because she was not feeling well. Authorities later discovered that no hearing or evaluation was scheduled for Casey White that day, and Vicky White never arrived at the medical facility. His patrol car was found abandoned Friday morning in a mall parking lot, less than a mile from the detention center.
The situation left Vicky White’s colleagues in shock. The day of his disappearance was to be his last day on the job after nearly two decades with the department, Singleton said. She submitted her retirement papers last week, sold her house about a month ago and had thought about moving to the beach, he added.
“If she did it voluntarily, and there’s every indication she did… I guess we’re trying to hold on to that last drop of hope that maybe for some reason she was threatened and did this under duress, but absolutely you’ve felt betrayed,” Singleton said.
Pat Davis said she was in disbelief about the situation and wanted her daughter home.
Sheriff: ‘I’d be surprised if they’re still in Alabama’
The video shows Vicky White’s patrol car stopped – about eight minutes after leaving the jail – at an intersection about two blocks from the mall parking lot where it would be found abandoned, Singleton said.
This indicates the car was driven straight to the parking lot and the driver never attempted to drive to the courthouse, the sheriff said.
But the video doesn’t show what happened after the car pulled into the parking lot.
Singleton told CNN he believes the couple left the field in a second vehicle — possibly transferred to a vehicle organized there or picked up by someone.
Checks of surveillance video of the area did not immediately lead investigators to identify a second vehicle, the sheriff said Monday.
“I’d be surprised if they’re still in Alabama,” the sheriff said. He noted that authorities at the Mexican and Canadian borders had been notified of the search.
Vicky White reportedly has money from the recent sale of her home, but her retirement fund paperwork had not yet been processed, Singleton said.
The US Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the location of the missing detainee and officer.
Casey White is 6-foot-9 and while his appearance may have changed since his release from prison, his height will always make him stand out, U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said Monday.
Escaped inmate ‘extremely dangerous’
Casey White is “an extremely dangerous person,” Singleton said.
He was serving 75 years in prison for a series of crimes in 2015, including a home invasion, carjacking and police pursuit, according to the Marshals Service.
He was moved from a state prison to the Lauderdale County Detention Center on February 25 to attend court hearings on two capital murder charges he faces related to the 2015 stabbing death of Connie Ridgeway. , 58, the Marshals Service said.
He confessed to the crime in 2020 and then pleaded not guilty, according to Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly.
“We’re assuming he’s armed because she was armed,” Singleton said of Casey White. The sheriff warned people not to approach the inmate if they saw him and to call the police instead.
In 2020, while Casey White was being held in Lauderdale County Detention Center, authorities learned he was planning to escape from jail and take a hostage, Singleton said.
“We shook him off and found a rod in his possession – a rod is a prison knife. And we got it back. We immediately turned it over to the Department of Corrections,” Singleton said Monday.
The prison already had a policy requiring two sworn deputies to accompany inmates at all times, including during transport to the courthouse — but “we outlined that policy with him,” Singleton said.
Vicky White violated policy by leaving the prison alone with Casey White, but because she was second in command at the facility, the other officers did not push back, Singleton said. “Being the boss and on top of transportation, she just informed the booking agent that she was going to take it to the courthouse and drop it off, which was a clear violation of policy. But I’m sure because he was his boss, the booking agent didn’t question him,” he noted.
As part of her job, Vicky White “was in the cell blocks frequently, had contact with all the inmates at one time or another,” Singleton said. “But as far as a romantic relationship or anything like that, we don’t have any evidence or evidence that it was, although it is a possibility,” he added.
CNN’s Chuck Johnston, Elizabeth Wolfe, Laine Mackey, Nadia Romero and Maria Cartaya contributed to this report.