Alabama Defector and Correction Officer: What We Know
Authorities in Alabama are searching for a corrections officer and an inmate charged with murder after they went missing last Friday.
Vicky White, assistant director of corrections for Lauderdale County, took Casey White, an inmate, from the county jail Friday morning, saying she was taking the prisoner to the county court.
The two, who were said by officials to be not related but may have been in a romantic relationship, have not been seen since. The US police service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to an inmate’s arrest and $5,000 for information leading to the officer’s location, the service said Sunday.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said Monday Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said an arrest warrant for Vicky White has been issued on a charge of allowing or facilitating an escape.
Here’s what we know.
They left the prison last Friday
Vicky White said she was taking Casey White for a mental health assessment when she got him out of prison. She said that she will receive medical care after releasing the prisoner from the court because she is unwell.
Authorities discovered later that no such assessment – or any trial – had been scheduled for Casey White that day and that Vicky White had never arrived at her place to seek medical care. economy, according to Singleton.
That afternoon, relevant officers at the prison tried to contact Vicky White, but her phone went straight to voicemail. They later discovered that Casey White had not yet been sent back to prison.
Sheriff: Officers and prisoners have a ‘special relationship’
In the days since their disappearance, investigators have determined Vicky White and Casey White have known each other since at least 2020 and developed a “special relationship,” Singleton told CNN on Thursday. Three.
He said their non-physical relationship was confirmed in part by inmates who told officials that Casey White received special perks like extra food because of the officer.
The pair are said to have met in early 2020 when Casey White was brought to Lauderdale County for settlement after he confessed to a 2015 murder, according to Singleton. “As far as we know, that was the earliest physical contact they had,” he said, noting that they continued to communicate after he was transferred back to the state prison.
Casey White was returned to state prison after being arranged to continue serving a 75-year sentence for a series of crimes he committed in 2015, and the sheriff said the only officer and inmate stay in touch by phone.
He was returned to the Lauderdale County jail in February to attend trials related to his murder charges.
Investigators said both were in an orange or bronze 2007 Ford Edge. (US Marshals Service Release)
The plan to escape the vehicle, the official to sell the house
The 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car that Vicky White and inmate Casey White brought from prison was abandoned in the parking lot of a shopping mall, the sheriff said.
Officials obtained video that showed the patrol car stopped – about eight minutes after it left the jail – at an intersection about two blocks from the shopping center parking lot, Singleton said today. Monday.
“What tells us is that the patrol vehicle left the detention center and went straight to the parking lot,” where it was abandoned, the sheriff said. “There wasn’t enough time for them to even try to go to court.”
Authorities have identified the officer and inmate who left the parking lot in a bronze 2007 Ford Edge SUV that Vicky White had purchased and parked on the property the night before, Singleton said Tuesday.
When investigators were finally able to confirm the description of the getaway vehicle on Monday, they intended to send it internally to other law enforcement agencies, but the first vehicle was accidentally released. widely, prompting the investigation to return.
Singleton told CNN on Wednesday that the pair likely abandoned the vehicle when its description was widely shared.
Additionally, Vicky White sold her house weeks before she and her inmate disappeared: Her house sold on April 18 for $95,550, the documents show. That’s far below market value, according to Lauderdale County’s online filing, which lists the home’s total lot value as $204,700.
The sheriff said that while Vicky White was due to retire on the day of her disappearance, her retirement proceedings were still pending. The department said Wednesday she no longer works for the sheriff’s office.
Investigators are pursuing leads east of Mississippi
Police have received some “promising” guidance in the search, Singleton said on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” Wednesday — specifically east of the Mississippi River.
“I can tell you we have had many reports of sightings from Florida all the way to Kentucky,” Singleton said.
But not all of them worked: For example, a woman walked into a convenience store and handed an employee a bill that said, “I’m Vicky White, I’ve been kidnapped, please help me,” Singleton said. But she’s not Vicky White.
“Like any case like this, the vast majority (advice) doesn’t come out, but we do have some promise,” he said. “So we’re particularly focused on those things right now, trying to get all the information we can.”
“At this point,” he admits, “we don’t have any clue where they are.”
The official went against the policy
In her job as assistant superintendent of corrections, Vicky White coordinates all transportation from prison to court, so she knows the process that calls for two deputies to be sworn in by Casey White’s side at all times. , because he was a prisoner on a murder charge, according to Singleton.
“All precautions have been taken,” Singleton said. “The questions we have for Director White are why is she violating policy.”
said the police chief.
“As the boss and in charge of transportation, she just informed the reservationist that she was going to drive him to the courthouse and release him, which is a clear violation of policy. But I’m sure because it was her boss, the reservationist didn’t question it,” he explained.
Vicky White an ‘exemplary employee’
After about two decades with the department, Vicky White filed her retirement papers last week, and the date of her disappearance is believed to be her last day at work, the sheriff said.
A childless widow she talked about retiring in the three or four months before Friday’s incident, sold her home and thought about moving to the beach, the sheriff said.
Vicky White has been living with her mother, Pat Davis, for the past five weeks, Davis told CNN affiliate WAAY.
The mother said her daughter doesn’t talk much about work, doesn’t talk about retirement and has never talked about Casey White. “I don’t know him,” Davis said. “We don’t know if she was raped or if she volunteered in this. But we just want her back. That’s all we want.”
Davis said she was in a state of shock.
“As a mother, I didn’t know how to act because at first I thought it was a mistake,” Davis said. “And then when I found out it definitely was, it was just skepticism.”
Vicky White “does a great job,” Singleton told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on Saturday morning.
“All of her colleagues, all the staff in the sheriff’s office, the judges, have the utmost respect for her,” Singleton said. “She has a track record. She is an exemplary employee. Therefore, we are very concerned about her safety.”
In an interview Thursday on CNN’s “New Day,” Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly, who has known Vicky White for many years, described her as a trustworthy person and a “solid employee.” yellow”. If something needs to be done in court, for example, Vicky White is the person they can call, Connolly said.
“She’s a longtime trusted employee at our prison and she’s just exploiting the system,” he said, “and actually abusing the trust and credibility she’s earned. over the years as a great employee.”
Casey White is considered ‘armed and dangerous’
Casey White served 75 years for a series of crimes he committed in Limestone County in 2015, including a home invasion, carjacking and a police chase, according to the US Marshals Service .
In 2020, he confessed to murdering a woman in Rogersville, Alabama in 2015, according to Lauderdale County Attorney Chris Connolly. White later pleaded not guilty.
The website of the Alabama Department of Corrections lists Casey White as an inmate at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County. He was transferred to the Lauderdale County detention center on February 25 to appear in court in the murder case, according to Singleton.
In 2020, while Casey White was being held at the Lauderdale County detention center, authorities learned he planned to escape the prison and take him hostage, Singleton said.
“We shook him down and we found a spur he owned – a spur is a prison knife. And we recovered it. We immediately brought him back. Department of Corrections,” Singleton said Monday.
The prison already has a policy that requires two deputy under oath to accompany inmates at all times, including during transportation to court – but “we emphasized that policy to him,” Singleton said.
Because Vicky White had a 9 mm handgun, authorities assumed that Casey White, 6 feet 9, is now armed and should be considered dangerous, Singleton said.
The US police agency has handled the case, the agency said in a press release. It is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the location of missing prisoners ($10,000) and officers ($5,000). The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI are also involved in the investigation.
“Anyone with information about White’s location or White’s Assistant Director of Disappearance is advised to contact law enforcement,” the statement said. “You can call the USMS Media Center at 1-800-336-0102. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through the US Marshals Tips App.”
“You shouldn’t be trying to approach either of these two people because we consider both of them dangerous, and it’s very likely that both of them are armed,” U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said. Monday.