A warrant has been issued for an Alabama corrections officer who disappeared with an inmate Friday — the day she was set to retire — authorities said Monday.
The officer, Vicky White, is wanted on a charge of permitting 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 aren’t related.
"We know she participated" in his escape, Singleton said. "Whether she did that willingly or was coerced or threatened, we're not really sure, but we know for sure she did participate."
Vicky White, 56, the facility’s assistant director of corrections, had talked about retiring for months, musing about all the time she’d spend on the beach, Singleton said. She had sold her house, and her last day of work as a Lauderdale County corrections officer was supposed to be Friday.
"This is not the Vicky White we know by any stretch of the imagination," Singleton said. "Everybody thought she was going to retire."
"Nobody saw this coming," he added.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that investigators, by talking with inmates at the jail, confirmed there was a "special relationship" between Vicky and Casey White.
Casey White, 38, 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 U.S. Marshals Service. He confessed to stabbing Ridgeway and was awaiting trial at the Lauderdale County Jail when he disappeared, according to the agency.
The Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of Vicky and Casey White. Authorities said Monday they had received several tips.
Vicky and Casey White left the detention center, purportedly for a mental health evaluation in court. But investigators have since confirmed that such an evaluation was never scheduled, Singleton said over the weekend.
At the time of her departure, Vicky White told the booking officer that she would be going to a medical appointment after she dropped off Casey White because she wasn’t feeling well. But she had no appointment scheduled, Singleton said.
She also transported the suspect by herself — a violation of the policy requiring two sworn deputies to transport people under those charges, the sheriff said.
The marked 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car they traveled in was later found at a shopping center, Singleton said. Surveillance video shows the two went straight to the shopping center and never stopped at the courthouse.
Officers realized the two were missing at around 3:30 p.m. Friday, when Vicky White’s phone went straight to voicemail after repeated attempts to contact her, Singleton said, adding that it was then confirmed that Casey White never returned to the detention center, either.
Vicky White had a 9 mm firearm, and it wasn’t known whether any other weapons were in the patrol vehicle, Singleton said.
Casey White is 6-feet-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 most recent photo of him.
"He's a large individual," Singleton said. "He will stand out."
He warned the public not to approach Casey White. Even police who might encounter him should be on alert.
"I can’t emphasize this enough to our brothers and sisters in blue: If you encounter this guy, you need to know he is dangerous. Don’t take any chances," Singleton said. "He has nothing to lose. He is extremely dangerous."