LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Authorities issued an arrest warrant Monday for a corrections official who they say helped an inmate arrested on a murder charge escape from an Alabama jail.
The inmate, Casey Cole White, 38, disappeared Friday after he left the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama, with Vicky White, the facility’s assistant director of corrections. They have not been seen since.
Casey White and Vicky White, who despite sharing a last name, are not related, authorities said.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton announced they have issued a warrant for Vicky White’s arrest for first-degree facilitating an escape.
“We know she participated,” Singleton said, but added that authorities are still investigating to see whether she was threatened.
The possibility of a romantic relationship is also being looked into, Singleton said.
“This is not the Vicky White we know,” Singleton said. The sheriff relayed the concern for her among her colleagues.
Vicky White, according to Singleton, has worked for the department for around 16 years and was highly respected among her colleagues.
Vicky White had been talking about her retirement for the past three to four months and had even talked about visiting the beach. The day Vicky White and the inmate disappeared was reportedly her last scheduled day to work, the sheriff said.
Singleton also said he is available to talk with the family of Connie Ridgeway, who Casey White confessed to killing in 2020.
U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said Casey White “will stand out” even if he has changed his appearance. He stands 6 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs about 260 pounds.
The 38-year-old was already serving a prison sentence for attempted murder and burglary and was set to go to trial next month for the stabbing death of a 58-year-old woman, a charge in which he would face the death penalty if convicted.
“Don’t take any chances with this guy,” Singleton pleaded to law enforcement across the country.
On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals Service offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
According to a timeline of events released on Saturday, Vicky White ordered a corrections deputy to get Casey White ready for transport to the courthouse around 9:20 a.m. on Friday. The deputy removed Casey White from his cell pod and took him to the booking area, where he put him in handcuffs and leg shackles.
Around 9:40 a.m., the two left the detention center alone, a “direct violation of policy,” Singleton stated during a Friday night press conference. Vicky White had informed the staff the transport was to take Casey White to a mental health evaluation, though none was scheduled. From there, she told the booking officer that she was the only “firearm certified” deputy available.
She also told them she would be stopping by an urgent care facility after dropping Casey White off at the courthouse because she hadn’t been feeling well.
At 11:34 a.m., a Florence police officer spotted the empty patrol car in a parking lot with other cars for sale. It wouldn’t be until later that afternoon that things didn’t seem right.
The booking officer reported to administration around 3:30 p.m. that staff had tried multiple times to contact Vicky White, but her phone was going straight to voicemail. She also reported that Casey White had not been returned to the detention center.
By 5:30 Friday evening, the U.S. Marshals were contacted to help with the investigation along with the FBI, ATF, Secret Service and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).
Singleton, when asked if he believes whether Vicky White assisted in the escape or not, says that he believes she is in danger either way.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.