A female corrections officer and a capital murder suspect vanished after she picked him up for what she claimed was a mental health evaluation – only for her co-workers to learn no such appointment had been scheduled.
Vicky White, assistant director of corrections for the Lauderdale Sheriff’s Department, picked up Casey Cole White, 38, from a detention center on Friday morning at 9:30am, armed with a 9mm handgun.
The corrections officer said she was due to take Casey White – who is not related to her – to a mental health evaluation.
But on Friday afternoon, Sheriff Rick Singleton of Lauderdale County said that there was no scheduled mental health evaluation.
Vicky White’s car was found abandoned at a shopping center at 3:30pm, and the pair have not been seen since.
‘I am extremely, extremely concerned that he is not in custody,’ said Chris Connolly, Lauderdale County district attorney – adding that the FBI is assisting with the search, in addition to state and local authorities.
‘This is a very dangerous situation.’
It is unclear if White is in any danger, with investigators yet to say whether they think she colluded with White to bust him out of jail, or whether she has fallen victim to an abduction.
Casey White was facing the death penalty for the October 2015 murder of Connie Ridgeway, 58, in her home in Rogersville, Alabama.
Vicky White, assistant director of corrections for the sheriff’s department, was missing on Friday evening, having collected Casey Cole White (no relation) from prison
Connie Ridgeway is pictured with her sons Austin and Cameron. She was murdered in October 2015 in what her killer said was a contract hit. No motive has ever been given
Ridgeway was found stabbed to death in a killing that shocked the town of 1,500 people, 50 miles west of Huntsville.
It remains unclear why she was killed.
People 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 White was arrested in December 2015, then aged 32, following 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.
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.
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 is seen during the hearing in the case of Ridgeway’s murder in 2020
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.