FLORENCE, Ala. (AFP) – The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that an inmate who escaped from Alabama had a “special relationship” with the prison that official authorities believe aided his escape.
A stalking was underway for Casey White, who was awaiting trial in the murder case, and Vicki White, a prison official, after the couple went missing after leaving Lauderdale County Detention Center Friday morning. Authorities said the two were unrelated.
“Detectives received information from inmates at the Lauderdale County Detention Center over the weekend that there was a special relationship between Director White and inmate Casey White. This relationship has now been confirmed through our investigation by independent sources and means,” the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to news outlets. The office did not clarify the nature of that relationship.
On Friday morning, Vicki White, 56, told co-workers that the 38-year-old should go to court for a mental health evaluation. She would accompany the inmate alone, which the sheriff said was a violation of department policy. That afternoon, when she was not answering the phone, the authorities discovered the two were missing, and no date was set for this assessment. Her patrol car was found abandoned in a shopping center parking lot.
An arrest warrant was issued on Monday for Vicki White for aiding the escape.
Family members and colleagues said they were stunned that Vicki White, who had worked in the sheriff’s office for 16 years, was involved with the inmate who was already serving a 75-year sentence for attempted murder and other crimes.
“I can’t imagine Vicky running away with that guy,” Frances White, her ex-mother-in-law, said in a phone interview. She remained fond of her daughter-in-law for decades after her divorce of her son in 1991. He passed away earlier this year.
She said her ex-daughter was kind and always wanted to help others, but added that she was sometimes special. “Vicky was someone who kept all her thoughts and troubles to herself,” she said.
Her ex-mother-in-law said that Vicki White had no children and had recently sold her home, a sprawling 4-acre (1.6 ha) estate that she had originally bought to be close to her parents. Francis White said the property, which included a trailer and a barn, was “really too big” for one person.
WAY She reported that Vicki White sold her home for $95,500 just 12 days before she disappeared. The station stated that the purchase price was lower than the market value of the area.
Lauderdale County Mayor Rick Singleton said Monday that Vicki White has announced plans to retire and that the day she disappeared will be her last day on the job.
“This is by no means the Vicki White we know,” Singleton said Monday.
The US Marshals Service said Tuesday that the pair may be traveling in an orange or copper 2007 Ford Edge with minor damage to the left rear bumper.
Authorities said Casey White, who stands 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 meters) tall, should be recognized by his size. The authorities warned that anyone who sees the husband should not approach them.
“People should be considered dangerous and may be armed with an AR-15 rifle, pistols and shotgun,” the Marshall Department said in the bulletin.
Casey White was serving time on a series of crimes that included attempted murder, robbery, and burglary. Authorities said that while in prison, he confessed to the stabbing murder of a 58-year-old woman in 2015, which resulted in him being brought to the Lauderdale County Jail for trial proceedings. Sheriff said they believe White planned to escape from prison earlier in 2020 when they found a rudimentary knife.