Alabama prison official missing after escorting inmate

An Alabama prison official is missing after escorting an inmate to a courthouse for a hearing

FLORENCE, Ala. –An Alabama prison official is missing after escorting an inmate to a courthouse for a hearing.

The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Saturday that Deputy Director of Corrections Vicky White went missing while escorting an inmate charged with capital murder. The inmate is also missing.

On Saturday morning, Sheriff Rick Singleton confirmed Alabama law enforcement, the FBI and U.S. Marshals are assisting in the investigation.

White, 56, who has worked for the department for 16 years, left the detention center with inmate Casey White on Friday morning and neither has been seen since. The pair is unrelated. The vehicle they were traveling in when they left the detention center was discovered in the parking lot of a nearby mall, according to the sheriff’s office.

White, 38, was being held for capital murder in the 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway. He confessed to the murder in 2020 while in state prison for other crimes, WHNT-TV reported.

At a press conference on Friday, Singleton said Vicky White, armed with a 9mm, left the detention center with the inmate around 9:41 a.m. to go to the courthouse for what she said. being an assessment of Casey’s mental health. She was alone with the inmate, which the sheriff said was in direct violation of department policy.

“Our policy is that any detainee with these kinds of charges will be escorted by two sworn deputies. And that didn’t happen,” Singleton said.

Singleton also said there was no mental health assessment of the inmate scheduled at the courthouse.

White also told co-workers she had a doctor’s appointment, which was confirmed, but the office said the deputy never showed up.

Officials said no one realized the two were missing until 3:30 p.m. Friday. Deputies attempted to contact Vicky White, but her phone repeatedly went to voicemail.

Singleton said his department was “aggressively investigating” the incident and would review previous interactions between the two to “see if anything else was going on.”

Singleton said his department was “shocked” and it was obviously possible the corrections officer helped him escape. Singleton told the media that Vicky White returned her retirement papers the day before she disappeared.

Regardless of her involvement, the sheriff acknowledged that she could very well be in danger.

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