Missing Alabama corrections officer and inmate had a prior relationship, official says
Updated May 3, 2022 at 5:31 PM ET
Authorities in Alabama now say Lauderdale County assistant director of corrections Vicky White and inmate Casey White — who went missing together on Friday — had a "special relationship" before their disappearance.
"Investigators 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," Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told media organizations in a statement Tuesday.
"That relationship has now been confirmed through our investigation by independent sources and means."
The U.S. Marshals Service also said in a statement on Tuesday that authorities believe Vicky White helped Casey White escape.
The news came after Alabama law enforcement officials issued a warrant for Vicky White, charging her with permitting or facilitating an escape in the first degree.
"We know she participated," Singleton said at a news conference on Monday. "Whether she did that willingly or if she was coerced, threatened somehow to participate in this case, not really sure."
White went missing after telling jail staff on Friday that she was transporting inmate Casey White to the local courthouse for a mental health evaluation. Singleton said no court appearance was scheduled, according to Alabama news site AL.com. Officials say Casey White and Vicky White are not related.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of Casey White, who is facing two counts of capital murder. The agency is also offering up to $5,000 for information about Vicky White.
"Casey White is believed to be a serious threat to the corrections officer and the public," U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said in a statement. "Do not attempt to apprehend this fugitive."
Singleton said Vicky White had recently sold her home and was scheduled to retire on Friday. Authorities are still investigating whether the two had any prior contact before they disappeared. "We will capture them," Singleton added.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post on Friday that the vehicle the pair used to leave the detention center was found in a local shopping-center parking lot.
Casey White, 38, was charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of 59-year-old Connie Ridgeway after he confessed to the killing.
He had already been serving time for what officials describe as a 2015 "crime spree" that included home invasion, carjacking and a police chase.
Officials say anyone with information about the disappearance of Casey White and Vicky White should contact law enforcement or make an anonymous tip to the U.S. Marshals Service.
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