Casey White and Vicky White: Authorities are working on leads to help identify the vehicle an Alabama inmate and corrections officer left when they went missing

The couple disappeared on Friday after Vicky White, deputy director of corrections for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, said she was taking inmate Casey White for a mental health evaluation at the county courthouse. But the officer and inmate, who officials say are unrelated, never made it to the courthouse and authorities later found there was no assessment or hearing scheduled. for Casey White that day.

When Vicky White took Casey White out of the detention center around 9:30 a.m., she said she was going to drop him off at the courthouse and then get medical attention because she wasn’t feeling well, but she didn’t. failed to get to where she needed medical attention, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said.

On Friday afternoon, concerned officers from the prison attempted to call Vicky White, but her phone went straight to voicemail. They then found out that Casey White had never been sent back to prison.

Authorities were considering several scenarios over the weekend, including whether Vicky White had been subdued and kidnapped by the 6ft 9in inmate or helped him escape, either through coercion or her own will, Singleton told CNN.

Casey White was being held in jail for murder.

Around 11 a.m. Friday, Vicky White’s cruiser was spotted in a mall parking lot by someone who was on a lunch break, Singleton said.

On Saturday, the sheriff said authorities searched for video security footage in the area where the patrol vehicle was found, but found no evidence that the two men were getting into another vehicle. The sheriff’s office is working on leads that could help investigators identify the vehicle the pair was left in, Singleton said Sunday, adding that there was “nothing confirmed at this time.”

“We are continuing to review video footage for possible leads, but we have not recovered anything that has had a significant impact on the investigation,” Singleton said, adding that authorities are unsure if they are still in custody. Alabama.

An inmate had previously plotted to escape

In 2020, Casey White planned to escape from prison and take a hostage, but detention center workers caught him, Singleton said. After his plan was discovered, the jail established a policy requiring two sworn deputies to accompany him at all times, including during transportation to the courthouse, the sheriff told CNN.

Casey White was serving 75 years for a string of crimes in 2015, which included a home invasion, carjacking and police pursuit, according to the US Marshals Service. He also faces two counts of capital murder in the stabbing death of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway in 2015, the Marshals Service said.

He confessed to the murder in 2020, then pleaded not guilty, according to Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly. He was being held at the detention center awaiting trial.

Because Vicky White was armed with a 9mm handgun when the pair went missing, authorities assume Casey White is likely armed, Singleton said, adding it’s unclear if there were others. weapons in his patrol vehicle.

Singleton said the prison officer is likely in danger regardless of the circumstances of their disappearance.

“He was in jail for capital murder and he had nothing to lose,” the sheriff said. “We don’t know if she helped him or not, and we won’t address that issue until we have absolute proof that this is what happened. We assume at this point that she was taken against her will, unless we can absolutely prove otherwise. But regardless, even though she helped him, we believe she is in danger.”

The Marshals Service has joined in the search for the inmate and officer and is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Casey White’s capture and Vicky White’s location.

A veteran officer violated prison policy

As assistant director of corrections, Vicky White was aware of prison policy requiring Casey White to be escorted by two sworn deputies at all times, according to Singleton. By removing him from the detention center on her own, Vicky White broke protocol.

An Alabama inmate and a corrections officer are missing.  Here's what we know

“All precautions were in place,” Singleton said. “The questions we have for Director White are why she violated the policy.”

Singleton said the officer had frequent access to people held in the detention center, including Casey White.

Vicky White submitted her retirement paperwork to the department last week, according to Singleton, who described her as “an exemplary employee” with “a spotless record.”

“All of her co-workers, all of the sheriff’s office workers, the judges, all have the utmost respect for her,” Singleton said.

Vicky White has worked at the department for about two decades, Singleton said. She is a widow with no children and her mother and two brothers live in Lauderdale County.

CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield, Rebekah Reiss, Keith Allen and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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