As federal, state and local authorities continue to investigate the disappearance of Alabama corrections officer Vicky White and capital murder suspect Casey Cole White, the Lauderdale County Sheriff says evidence suggests she helped the prisoner escape.
“The question is: did she do it voluntarily or did inmate White force her to do it by threatening her and/or her family or other means,” the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to media outlets Saturday. the afternoon.
Vicky White, deputy director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Jail, and Casey Cole White, a man who was jailed on capital murder charges, have been missing since leaving jail Friday morning at 9:41 a.m. The two are not related.
Sheriff Rick Singleton said the main focus right now is finding the two. Before leaving jail Friday, Vicky White told jail employees to prepare Casey White for transport to the Lauderdale County courthouse for a mental health evaluation, the sheriff said, though no such court appearance was scheduled. the court.
Vicky White also told colleagues that she would seek medical attention after dropping Casey White off at court because she wasn’t feeling well, but Singleton said there was no such medical appointment.
“Our secondary focus is to investigate the leak itself,” Singleton said in the statement Saturday afternoon. “The indications are, since no court appearance was scheduled, that AD (assistant director) White assisted in the escape.”
The sheriff released a timeline on Saturday detailing the chain of events and what has happened in the investigation since Vicky White and Casey White went missing.
The two never made it to the courthouse, which is located in downtown Florence, about a half-mile from the county jail.
At 11:34 a.m., about two hours after the couple was released from jail, a Florence police officer spotted White’s patrol car. He was parked among the vehicles that were for sale. The officer, like other law enforcement, was unaware at the time that Officer White and Casey White were missing.
At 3:30 pm, a jail employee informed the administration that he had been trying to contact Deputy White but was unable to reach her. The clerk also reported that Casey White had not returned to jail.
After police announced the couple missing, according to the sheriff’s office, a member of the public reported seeing the patrol vehicle in a shopping center parking lot. Agents searched the vehicle but found no evidence.
As of 5:30 p.m., about 20 local investigators were working on the case, reviewing surveillance video from the courthouse, jail, mall and other locations.
As of Saturday morning, officers were still looking for clues about a vehicle that may have been used after White’s squad car was abandoned.
The FBI, US Marshals and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are assisting with the search. The state issued a Blue Alert.
“Casey White is believed to be a serious threat to the correctional officer and the public,” the alert reads.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference Friday night, Sheriff Singleton said he believes Officer White is in danger, citing Casey White’s history of violence. “He was in jail for capital murder…” the sheriff said.
He said Vicky White had been “an exemplary employee” before violating sheriff’s office policy by traveling alone with a prisoner. Two sworn deputies are supposed to escort incarcerated people.
In 2020, Casey White was charged with two counts of capital murder for the murder-for-hire of Connie Jane Ridgeway on October 23, 2015. Rogersville police found Ridgeway’s body in the living room of her apartment after a neighbor requested a social assistance check. The 59-year-old lived at the Meadowland Apartments on Prince Drive in Rogersville, across the street from the Lauderdale County High School football field.
White in December 2015 was charged with a two-state crime spree that left a dog dead and a woman injured. Police said he carried out multiple shootings, a home invasion and two carjackings in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. In 2019, he was found guilty of a total of nine charges, including attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping his two roommates.
Anyone who sees Casey White is advised to contact 911 immediately. Authorities say it is not safe to approach the 38-year-old man. Authorities describe him as 6 feet 6 inches tall and 252 pounds. He has graying hair, hazel eyes and tattoos on both arms, according to state police.
Authorities describe Vicky White, who has been with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office for more than 16 years, as 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. She has brown eyes and blonde or strawberry blonde hair, according to state police. she is 56