The Alabama corrections officer accused of helping an inmate escape jail had a two-year relationship with him that included phone calls to the prison where he was serving time, officials revealed.
The search for Vicky White, 56, and inmate Casey White, 38, a capital murder suspect, entered its seventh day Thursday.
The escape unfolded April 29 — the day Vicky White was set to retire — at the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, about 70 miles west of Huntsville. Vicky White and Casey White are not related.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said on NBC’s “TODAY” show that the pair have had some kind of relationship for at least two years.
"He was here in 2020 for an arraignment, a preliminary hearing. When he finished that, he went back to state prison. We do know they remained in touch while he was in state prison," Singleton said.
Pressed about the timeline, Singleton said the relationship was at least two years old but “could be older.”
Singleton initially said on "TODAY" that Vicky White had repeatedly visited Casey White at the Donaldson prison, but he later walked back that statement.
“That is not correct,” he said in a news release after he appeared on the show. “They were in contact via phone.”
So far, no one has reported seeing Vicky White, who is 5-foot-5, or Casey White, who is 6-foot-9.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the capture of Vicky White and up to $10,000 for Casey White.
Surveillance video appeared to show the pair driving in a patrol car before they ditched the vehicle at a parking lot and drove off in a Ford Edge getaway car the day of the escape.
Singleton said they may be heavily armed.
Casey White was charged with two counts of capital murder in September 2020 in the stabbing of Connie Ridgeway, 58, and he was already in jail in connection with a 2015 home invasion, carjacking and police chase, according to the Marshals Service. He confessed to stabbing Ridgeway and was awaiting trial at the Lauderdale County facility when he disappeared, according to the agency.
Singleton said Vicky White “owned an AR-15, a shotgun and another pistol.”
“Typically those would not be in her patrol car. They were her personal weapons, as well as the duty weapon she carried," he said. "But I think the fact that she owns them, I think it’s a fair assumption that they’re with them."
He has previously said Vicky White was no longer employed with the sheriff’s office, but he did not clarify whether she was fired.
“Friday was her last day to work, however, her retirement papers were not finalized,” he said in a statement to NBC News. “This is a personnel issue that will be discussed on a later date.”
She is wanted on a charge of permitting or facilitating the escape of an inmate, the sheriff said.
Some in the community said they were shocked by the allegations.
“This could happen with the best of the folks,” Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said Thursday on "TODAY." “Vicky White I would trust with my life. She’s that kind of solid person.”