Casey White and Vicky White Search: Here’s What We’ve Learned So Far as the Search Enters its 7th Day



CNN

Investigators are calling for Vicky White, the Alabama corrections officer, to turn herself in as the search for her and the inmate she disappeared with enters its seventh day.

“Vicky, you’ve been in this business for 17 years, you’ve seen this scenario come true more than once and you know how it always ends,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said on ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday. “Go ahead and end it now. Pick up a phone, call 911, turn yourself in and help us get Casey White back behind bars because you know he’s going to end up there eventually.”

According to Singleton, authorities discovered over the past week that the officer, 56, and inmate Casey White, 38, were in a romantic relationship and that Vicky White visited him several times during her off hours while he was in state prison.

The pair, who are not related, disappeared Friday morning when the prosecutor said she would take Casey White to the courthouse before seeking medical attention because she was feeling unwell. But the two never showed up to the courthouse and the officer failed to reach the medical facility.

In the days since they went missing, investigators determined that the officer and the prisoner had a “special relationship” in which Vicky White granted the prisoner special privileges, including extra food. The investigation was aided in part by inmates who informed officials about the relationship over the weekend.

“Some inmates here at our facility informed our investigators that there was a relationship between the two,” Singleton told CNN on Wednesday. “We took their statements, what they said followed it up and we confirmed that there was indeed a relationship.”

Vicky White, who was about to retire the day she went missing, had also taken some significant financial steps leading up to the escape.

She sold her house on April 18 for well below market value. The house, according to documents, sold for $95,550, but Lauderdale County records show that the total lot value of the house is $204,700.

Family members and colleagues say they are stunned by the sudden disappearance of the corrections officer, who Singleton has described as a “model worker” with an “impeccable record.”

Vicky White has issued an active arrest warrant on charges of allowing or facilitating first-degree escape. She is also no longer employed by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, the office said in a statement Wednesday. While Friday was her last day of work, her retirement papers were never finalized, the office said.

These are the key developments in the investigation as authorities desperately search for the couple.

Officials say Vicky White, who was the deputy director of corrections, blatantly violated department policy when she released Casey White from jail Friday morning.

The facility had a policy that required two sworn officers to accompany the inmates at all times, including during transportation to the courthouse. Singleton said the policy was highlighted with Casey White after authorities discovered he was plotting to escape and take a hostage in 2020 and discovered a makeshift knife on him.

But that morning, Vicky White asked an officer to prepare Casey White for transport, saying she would take him to the courthouse alone, as the other officers had already left for court and she was the only officer available with a certified firearm. said Singleton.

Surveillance video shows Casey White, chained and handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit, being escorted into the back of Vicky White’s patrol vehicle Friday morning.

The investigation revealed that the couple then drove to a shopping center parking lot less than 10 minutes away, left the patrol car on the property and escaped in a gold- or copper-colored Ford Edge SUV with minor damage to the left rear bumper, authorities said.

“We know that no effort was ever made to go to court. They went straight to the Florence Square parking lot, dumped the patrol car, got into the other vehicle and left,” Singleton said.

Investigators have traced the relationship to early 2020, when Casey White was taken to Lauderdale County on a murder charge he faces for the 2015 death of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway, according to the sheriff.

“As far as we know, that was the first physical contact they had,” Singleton said.

It was then that authorities found the homemade prison knife on the inmate and exposed his plan to escape, leading to the Lauderdale Detention Facility reinforcing its policy that he must be accompanied at all times by two deputies while in custody. used to be.

Casey White was sent back to state prison after being charged to continue serving a 75-year sentence for a series of crimes he committed in 2015. The sheriff says the officer and the inmate kept in touch, including visits from Vicky White during her off hours.

Casey White was returned to Lauderdale County Jail in February to attend court hearings regarding his murder charges.

Over the course of this week’s investigation, inmates said Casey White “got extra food on his trays” and “got privileges that no one else got. And this all came from her,” Singleton said.

Leading up to their breakout, according to Singleton, Vicky White bought a 2007 Ford Edge SUV in Rogersville, about 25 miles east of Lauderdale County. The night before she disappeared with Casey White, the officer parked the car in the parking lot of the mall where the couple would drive the next day and flee in the SUV.

When investigators were finally able to confirm the description of the getaway car on Monday, they planned to send it internally to other law enforcement agencies, but the clue was inadvertently released to the public.

“The description of the car is what we worked hard on all weekend because we had no idea what kind of vehicle they were left in,” Singleton told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday night. “We notified law enforcement to be on the lookout and inadvertently one of those agencies made the description public. That really set us back.”

Singleton said the couple has probably ditched the car by now because the description is widely shared.

But investigators have gathered other clues about the possible location of the prisoner and the officer, he said.

“We have several tips … especially east of the Mississippi,” the sheriff said, but added that authorities still “have no idea where they are.”

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