Authorities on Monday issued an arrest warrant for a missing corrections officer who disappeared with an inmate from a northern Alabama jail last week.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said police know Vicky White, who disappeared with inmate Casey Cole White Friday morning from the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Ala, “participated” in the escape, though it’s still unclear whether she did so willingly or was coerced.
The charges against the officer include permitting or facilitating escape of the inmate, Singleton said at a news conference Monday.
Singleton also said Casey White was handcuffed and shackled when he and the officer left the jail Friday.
He described Vicky White as a “exemplary employee,” who had planned to retire leading up to her disappearance.
The U.S. Marshals Service was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of inmate Casey Cole White and the location of the “missing and endangered” corrections officer. The pair planned to travel to a local courthouse when they disappeared. Police say the two are not related.
Casey White, 38, was being held on two capital murder charges in 2020 when he also confessed to killing Connie Ridgeway, 58. The mother was stabbed in her home in 2015.
The pair wasn’t discovered missing until 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, six hours after they left the jail. Vicky White’s vehicle was found in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center.
Here’s what we know.
What are police saying?
Vicky White was armed when she left the jail with Casey White for a mental health evaluation for Casey at a courthouse Friday morning, Sheriff Rick Singleton said at a press conference Friday.
But no mental health evaluation was scheduled at the courthouse for Casey White that day, Singleton said, also noting the officer was alone with the inmate — a violation of department policy.
Deputies had attempted to contact the officer once they realized she and the inmate were missing, but her phone repeatedly went to voicemail.
It is not clear whether the incident was an attempted escape, or if Vicky White was possibly overpowered and kidnapped, according to Singleton. He said investigators are trying determine whether there were any previous significant interactions between the pair.
Who is Casey Cole White?
Casey White was sentenced in 2019 to 75 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of first-degree kidnapping and attempted murder, according to a report from The News Courier in Athens, Alabama.
He’s a 6-foot, 9-inch tall white male and weighs about 260 pounds, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. He has brown hair, hazel eyes and has tattoos on his back and left shoulder blade.
He is believed to be a “serious threat to the corrections officer and the public,” according to Marty Keely, the U.S. marshal for northern Alabama. Authorities advised residents not to approach him if he is spotted.
Who is Vicky White?
Vicky White worked as assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and has been with the department for 16 years.
She turned in her retirement papers the day before she went missing.
The Marshals Service said people with information about Casey White’s location or Vicky White’s disappearance can call 1-800-336-0102. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through the U.S. Marshals Tip App.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Miranda Prescott, The Gadsden Times