Follow The Search For Prison Officer And Inmate Who Escaped: They Had a Romantic Relationship

They disclose details about the relationship between prisoner and escaped agent 2:57

(WABNEWS) — The search continues for the Alabama Jailer Vicky White, who disappeared with an inmate seven days ago. Authorities are asking White to turn himself in while they reveal more details of the case.

“Vicky, you’ve been in this business for 17 years, you’ve seen this scenario more than once and you know how it always ends,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America.

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“Come on, end this now. Pick up a phone, call 911, turn yourself in and help us get Casey White back to jail because you know that’s where it will end up eventually.”

Over the last week, authorities discovered that the 56-year-old jailer and inmate Casey White, 38, were in a romantic relationship and that Vicky White visited him several times in her off hours while he was in state prison, according to Singleton. .

The two, who are not related, went missing Friday morning when the corrections officer said she was taking Casey White to court before receiving medical care because she wasn’t feeling well. But neither of them appeared in court and the agent did not arrive at the medical center.

Corrections officer Vicky White disappeared April 29 with inmate Casey White from an Alabama corrections facility.

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

“Some of the inmates here at our facility sent a message to our investigators that there was a relationship between the two of them,” Singleton told WABNEWS on Wednesday. “We took their statements, what they said, we followed up and we did confirm that there was indeed a relationship there.”

Vicky White, who was due to retire the day she disappeared, had also made some significant financial moves before the escape.

He sold his house on April 18 for well below market value. The home sold for $95,550, documents show, but Lauderdale County records show the home’s total parcel value is $204,700.

Family members and co-workers say they are stunned by the sudden disappearance of the jailer, whom Singleton has described as a “model employee” with an “unblemished record.”

Vicky White has an active warrant for her arrest on charges of allowing or facilitating aggravated flight. She is not an employee of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, the office said in a statement Wednesday. Although Friday was her last day on the job, her retirement papers were never finalized, the office said.

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

The quick escape of the agent and the inmate was recorded on video

Authorities say Vicky White, who was the deputy director of corrections, blatantly violated department policy when she broke Casey White out of jail Friday morning.

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

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

Surveillance video shows Casey White, chained and handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit, being escorted to the back of Vicky White’s squad car on Friday morning.

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

“We know that there was never any effort to go to the courthouse. They went directly to the Florence Square parking lot, left the squad car, got in the other vehicle and drove away,” Singleton said.

Agent-inmate relationship started in 2020, sheriff says

Investigators have traced the relationship back to early 2020 when Casey White was brought to Lauderdale County for an arraignment on murder charges he faces in 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 the authorities found the inmate’s prison knife and discovered his plan to escape. That led the Lauderdale detention center to reinforce its policy that he must be accompanied by two officers at all times while he was in their custody.

Casey White was returned to state prison after arraignment to continue serving a 75-year sentence for a series of crimes he committed in 2015. The sheriff says the officer and inmate maintained communication, including visits from Vicky White in his off hours.

Casey White was taken back to the Lauderdale County Jail in February to attend court hearings related to his murder charges.

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

The investigation is delayed by the release of a tip

Prior to her escape, Vicky White purchased a 2007 Ford Edge SUV in Rogersville, about 22 miles east of Lauderdale County, according to Singleton. The night before she disappeared with Casey White, the agent parked the car in the parking lot of the shopping center where the couple would go until the next day and flee in the van.

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

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

Singleton said the couple may have already gotten rid of the car because the description is widely shared.

But investigators have pieced together other clues about the possible location of the inmate and jailer, he said.

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

— WABNEWS’s Michelle Watson, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Amara Walker, Jade Gordon, Ryan Young, Jaide Timm-Garcia, Tina Burnside.

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