New details emerge about the relationship between an Alabama inmate and a corrections officer as the search for them continues

The investigation has shed light on what authorities believe is a romantic relationship between Lauderdale County’s assistant director of corrections Vicki White, and Casey White, who was being held at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility on murder charges, Sheriff Rick Singleton told CNN.

On Monday, the mayor said an arrest warrant had been issued for Vicki White on charges of allowing or facilitating the escape in the first degree, as authorities became more confident that the officer willingly aided the inmate in his escape, rather than forcing or coercing him.

Vicki White, 56, and Casey White, 38, who are not related, disappeared Friday morning after saying she was taking the prisoner to court before seeking medical attention because she was unwell. The two of them did not make it to the courtroom and Vicki White did not make it to the medical facility.

Authorities now believe the inmate and officer had a romantic relationship that extended into Vicki White’s off-hours, according to the sheriff. Singleton said they tracked the relationship as early as 2020, when Casey White, who was already serving time in a state prison, was first brought to Lauderdale County for trial.

“As far as we know, this was their closest physical contact,” Singleton said, noting that the duo continued to communicate after Casey White was returned to prison.

Singleton said the two had a “special relationship” that was confirmed in part by inmates at the detention facility who told detectives Casey White that he “was getting extra food in his trays” and “was getting privileges no one else had and that was it.” coming from it.”

Investigators are now flocking through surveillance photos from the detention center to find out more.

How did the escape happen?

Surveillance video released by the detention center on Tuesday showed Casey White, handcuffed and handcuffed in an orange suit, being escorted to the back of Vicki White’s patrol car Friday morning.

From there, says Singleton, the couple drove to a shopping mall less than ten minutes away, abandoned the patrol car and got into a 2007 Ford Edge SUV.

Vicki White bought the car in the town of Rogersville, which is about 25 miles east of Lauderdale County, and organized it into the parking lot the night before they disappeared, Singleton said.

Authorities believe Vicki White and Casey White were last in a 2007 Ford Edge SUV.

“We know there was no effort to go to court,” Singleton said. “They went straight to the Florence square parking lot, threw the patrol car, got in the other car and left.”

“We’re assuming they’ll abandon that car at the first opportunity when they get windy that the description is there, so we’re back to square one,” he added.

Investigators also provided more details about Casey White’s history at the Lauderdale County facility.

While detained there in 2020 to stand trial on murder charges related to the 2015 death of 58-year-old Connie Ridgway, authorities discovered he had a plan to escape and take a hostage and was carrying a makeshift knife.

Upon discovery, Casey White was sent back to the state prison where he was already serving a 75-year sentence for a number of crimes in 2015.

Singleton said the prison had a policy that mandated two jurors to escort inmates at all times, including during transportation to the courtroom — but “we confirmed this policy with him” after the escape plot was exposed.

Missing Corrections Officer Accused of Aiding Murder Suspected Jailbreak Had a 'Private Relationship'  With him, says Sharif

Casey White returned to the Lauderdale County Detention Facility in February for court hearings in his murder case.

On Friday morning, Vicki White ordered Casey White to be ready for transport, and told the custody official that because the other officers had already left for court and she was the only officer available with an approved firearm, she would take him to court alone, the sheriff said.

“Being the manager and on the transport, she had just told the custody officer she was going to take him to the courtroom and drop him off, which was a flagrant violation of policy. But I’m sure he was her boss, the custody officer didn’t question that,” Singleton said.

Sheriff Casey White has described him as a “very dangerous person” and has warned people not to approach him if they see him and call the police instead.

Authorities assume Casey White was armed because Vicki White was armed. The US Marshals Service warned Tuesday that they may have an AR-15 rifle and a shotgun.

“I’m very disappointed in it,” says DA.

Vicki White sold her home about a month ago and was due to retire on Friday after nearly two decades with management, Singleton said, adding that her pension fund paperwork has not been processed.

The disappearance and emerging details of the woman described as a “model employee” with an “impeccable record” have left her family and co-workers in disbelief.

The last time Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly spoke the day before her disappearance, he said he was “absolutely stunned” when he learned of the situation, calling the officer “the most powerful person in prison.”

“I am very disappointed in her,” he said. “She was reliable, and she took advantage of that trust.”

Vicki White’s mother, who has been living with her for the past five weeks after her home was sold, said she hadn’t heard her daughter mention Casey White and was shocked to find out she had gone missing with an accused killer.

“As a mother, I didn’t know how to act because at first I thought it was wrong. And then when I found out it was for sure, it was just disbelief,” Pat Davis Tell CNN affiliate WAAY.

Marshals offers a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the location of a fugitive inmate and up to $5,000 for a missing officer.

Jade Gordon, Jamil Lynch, Ryan Young, Jade Tim Garcia, Kelly McCleary and CNN’s Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.