The Alabama guard who went missing after escorting a murder suspect out of jail on Friday has been charged with helping him escape as her mother reveals she never once mentioned the 6ft 9in inmate.
Vicky White, 56, has a warrant out for her arrest on a charge of ‘permitting or facilitating an escape in the first degree,’ Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said Monday morning. The Class C felony carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Vicky had filed for retirement the day before she broke protocol and told a booking officer she was taking Casey White, 38, to the county courthouse for a ‘bogus’ mental health evaluation.
Casey was serving a 75-year prison sentence for a string of crimes, but had been transferred from prison to the county jail to face separate capital murder charges, Singleton said.
In 2020, his request to be transferred out of prison was denied after authorities found a makeshift knife stashed in the shower that they believed he intended to use to force someone to let him out.
On Friday, the pair drove directly from the jail to the parking lot of a nearby shopping center, Singleton said. Vicky’s patrol car was found there an hour and a half later – but the guard and inmate are still nowhere to be found, with investigators believing that they’re both armed as Vicky was carrying her 9mm handgun at the time.
Authorities in the search, which now include the FBI and the Secret Service, are also probing any romantic links between the two.
Vicky’s mother, Pat Davis, says her daughter had been saying with her for five weeks after she sold her house. Sheriff Singleton says Vicky may be flush with cash from the sale.
But Davis she doesn’t believe her daughter would willingly help an inmate she never even talked about.
‘You know, I never heard of him, never seen his picture, nothing. I didn’t know anything about him,’ she told WAAY.
Vicky White, assistant director of corrections for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, went missing on Friday evening after picking up Casey White (no relation) from county jail by herself in violation of protocol
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office released its most recent surveillance photos of convicted murderer Casey Cole White, 38, who escaped the Alabama jail on Friday
Sheriff Rick Singleton announced charges against Vicky White for ‘permitting or facilitating an escape in the first degree’ on Monday. The Class C Felony carries a maximum prison term of 10 years
Vicky’s mother says that her daughter, who was named ’employee of the year’ four times and was living with her after selling her house five weeks ago, never mentioned an inmate
‘We don’t know if she was took by force or if she was voluntarily in this. But we just want her back, that’s all we want,’ Davis, Vicky’s mom, said.
Vicky had filed for retirement just a day before she and Casey White, 38, disappeared on Friday after she told a booking officer she was taking him to the county courthouse for a mental health evaluation, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office says.
No such evaluation was scheduled that day.
She also said she was going to a medical appointment for herself, which was confirmed by the doctors’ office, but for which she never showed.
An hour and a half later, they were both missing and her patrol car was found abandoned at a nearby shopping center.
Lauderdale Sheriff Rick Singleton told NBC’s Today Show: ‘All indications are that she assisted him escape. The question we’re trying to answer … is, well did she do that willingly or was someone from outside threatening her?’
Friday, the day of her disappearance, was slated to be her last day on the job, Sheriff Singleton said Monday, adding that Vicky may have been flush with cash from the recent sale of her home.
‘We consider both of them dangerous and in all probability both of them are armed,’ US Marshal Marty Keely said Monday.
Sheriff Singleton added: ‘Casey White is an extremely dangerous person. We need to get him located and get him off the street.’
Singleton said Casey was ‘handcuffed and shackled’ in the back of Vicky’s patrol car when they both left the county jail Friday morning. From there, they went straight to the parking lot of a nearby shopping center, never once making it to the courthouse for the alleged mental health evaluation.
Davis, Vicky’s mother, says she can’t stop worrying about her daughter.
‘I lie in there at night and you can’t get it off your mind, and then when you wake up if you do fall asleep, that’s the first thing that you think of… You know if you got a kid and she’s out there, it’s just like she’s in danger and we don’t know where she’s at,’ she told WAAY.
‘We want her home. We’ll go pick her up if she’ll just call and tell us come and get her. We’ll go pick her up,’ Davis said.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday released pictures of inmate Casey White, 38, as he walked the halls of the Lauderdale County Jail.
In the pictures, Casey is seen tucking something under his right sleeve and looking around as he is followed by a prison guard.
The photos show him apparently tucking something under his right sleeve and looking around suspiciously as he is flanked by a guard
He was serving a 75-year sentence and facing the death penalty for a 2015 murder. He previously tried to escape and was supposed to always have two guards on him when Assistant Director of Corrections Vicky White, 56, picked him up from the jail at 9.41am on Friday.
A manhunt for Vicky and Casey White – who are not related – is ongoing, and the US Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information about the pair.
A news conference with more information is scheduled for Monday at 10.30am.
Sheriff Singleton said that officials with the Sheriff’s Department first became suspicious at around 3.30pm Friday, when officers at the jail realized Vicky had never returned.
They repeatedly tried to call her, he said, but her phone kept going to voicemail.
That’s when they realized Casey never returned.
On Friday, Singleton said that while the evidence points to Vicky helping Casey escape, her motivations are unclear.
‘We are trying to determine was that done willfully, or was she somehow coerced or threatened into participating?’ Singleton said, pointing to the various excuses she used to justify breaking protocol by taking Casey out of jail without other officers present.
The jail official was armed with a 9mm handgun when she claimed she was taking Casey for an evaluation that wasn’t ever scheduled. She said she would then head to a medical appointment for herself that also turned out to not take place.
‘It was all bogus,’ Singleton said. ‘That leads us to believe that she was involved.’
Casey should have always had two deputies with him, he added.
The sheriff said it would be nearly impossible for Casey to get out of his handcuffs and free himself without any help, but he added that helping Casey would be out of character for Vicky, who had been named ’employee of the year’ four times.
‘I don’t think there’s any question she assisted, but to do it willingly would be so out of character for the Vicky White we all know,’ he said.
On Saturday, Singleton said investigators are still treating the case as if she was taken against her will.
‘Knowing the inmate, I think she’s in danger, whatever the circumstances,’ the sheriff said. ‘He was in jail for capital murder and he had nothing to lose.
‘Whether she assisted him or not, we don’t know and we won’t address that until we have absolute proof that’s what happened,’ he added, noting: ‘We are assuming at this point that she was taken against her will, unless we can prove otherwise.’
Vicky’s family members have since come forward to say she was a ‘sweet person’ who wouldn’t have helped a ‘killer’ escape.
Frances White, Vicky’s former mother-in-law, told DailyMail.com on Sunday that the accusations against Vicky don’t match the ‘awfully good person’ she knows.
‘I can’t understand her leaving with a guy she knew was a murderer,’ said Frances, 88, who said she last spoke to Vicky about a month ago. ‘If he killed one person, he’d kill another.’
Lauderdale Sheriff Rick Singleton announced on Saturday that Vicky’s patrol car was found abandoned in a parking lot about an hour and a half after she ‘broke protocol’ to transport Casey
She says she has a hard time believing Vicky would have cooperated with Casey, who confessed to killing a 58-year-old woman while serving a 75-year sentence for a string of crimes, including animal cruelty for shooting a dog.
Frances, 88, says Vicky was married to her son Tommy White more than 16 years ago for about two to three years, eventually leaving him when his drug problems got bad.
‘I read it in the paper this morning,’ she told DailyMail.com Sunday afternoon. She left with that man. I said, “I can’t see her doing that. She wasn’t that kind of person.’
Vicky and Tommy raised cattle on a farm right across the street from her home, she said.
‘She raised baby cows and stuff, and she worked hard,’ Frances said.
She added that Vicky remained close with her and her son even after the divorce. Tommy died in January after struggles with Parkinson’s Disease.
‘Before my son got to where he couldn’t drive, Vicky would always – she would come out to the car and help him in.
‘We still was really good friends. She was a really sweet person,’ Frances said.
The US Marshals Service announced on Sunday that it is offering up to $10,000 for information about an escaped inmate and a ‘missing and endangered’ correctional officer who disappeared Friday after the two left a jail in north Alabama.
Connie Ridgeway, 58 (center) is pictured with her sons Austin and Cameron. Casey killed her in October 2015 in what he said was a contract hit. No motive has ever been given
White is seen during the hearing in the case of Ridgeway’s murder in 2020
Casey admitted to killing Connie Ridgeway, who was found stabbed to death in a killing that shocked the small town of Rogersville – about 50 mi west of Huntsville.
People who knew Ridgeway, 58, said she was known for her friendliness and willingness to help others, and the community for many years held a vigil every October in her memory.
Casey’s arrest at the age of 32 finally came after he engaged in a crime spree across Tennessee and Alabama.
In one night, he staged a home invasion, two carjackings and multiple shootings that left a dog dead and a woman injured.
The crimes were followed by a chase, where speeds reached more than 100 miles per hour, WHNT reported.
It ended with a stolen car stuck in a field south of Huntsville, and officers – who were evidently well known to him – pleading with him to put down his gun and give himself up.
Police are pictured in December 2015 taking Casey White into custody after a wild rampage across Tennessee and Alabama that ended in a 100mph car chase, and his stolen car stuck in a field
White got out of the vehicle with a gun and threatened to shoot officers and himself unless he could speak with Limestone Sheriff Mike Blakely.
Body-cam footage shows deputies attempting to get White to surrender by offering him smokeless tobacco and Sun Drop citrus soda while they waited for Blakely to arrive.
Casey White was found guilty of a total of nine charges, including trying to kill his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping her two roommates. Other charges included first degree robbery, first degree burglary, third degree burglary, breaking and entering a vehicle, animal cruelty for shooting a dog and attempting to elude.
He was sentenced in April 2019 to 75 years in prison.
In June 2020, he wrote to Lauderdale County requesting a meeting with the sheriffs office, and confessed to killing Ridgeway – providing a detailed description of the crime scene.
He said he was paid to kill her, although no motive for hiring a hitman has ever been disclosed.
In October 2020, Casey White, aged 37, appeared in court for an arraignment hearing, and requested to stay at the Lauderdale County Jail instead of going back to prison, WAFF reported.
His request was denied, after authorities said they believed that he was plotting to escape the Lauderdale County Jail.
They had found a makeshift knife, stashed in the showers, and suspected White was intending on using it to force someone to let him out.
‘We got information yesterday that he had made a shank and he intended to escape today and take a hostage,’ said Connolly, Lauderdale County district attorney, during the hearing.
‘Our deputies did a great job.
‘Found the shank and eliminated that threat this morning so we obviously aren’t equipped to house somebody like that for that long term in our jail, so we are happy that the judge ordered him to go back to the department of corrections.’
White, having confessed, then pleaded not guilty, on grounds of insanity.