Authorities release photos of missing Alabama inmate and corrections officer, including what she might look like with black hair – KION546
By Elizabeth Wolfe, Amara Walker and Jade Gordon, CNN
Like authorities continue to search for an Alabama corrections official and the inmate she disappeared with, the US Marshals Service said the officer, Vicky Whitepossibly dyed her blonde hair a darker shade and offered renders of what she might look like after the change.
The agency also released photos of the inmate, Casey White, 38, as well as photos of identifying markers such as multiple tattoos. He should be considered “armed and extremely dangerous,” the agency said in a press release on Thursday.
The service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of the detainee – who was being held for murder – and up to $5,000 for the officer, the statement added.
Authorities also said they learned that Casey White had threatened his ex-girlfriend and sister that if he got out of jail he would “kill them,” according to the statement. Authorities warned his potential targets and took steps to protect them, he added.
The Marshals Service said the couple could travel in an orange or copper 2007 Ford Edge that Vicky White purchased before the disappearance. It is unclear if the vehicle has a license plate and what that plate might be, according to the statement.
Investigators are also looking for leads, including reported sightings from Florida to Kentucky, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told CNN.
Over the past week, the authorities discovered the officer, 56, and the inmate may have had a romantic relationship,
The couple, who are unrelated, disappeared last friday morning when the corrections officer said she was taking Casey White from the Lauderdale County jail to the courthouse before going to see a doctor because she was not feeling well, authorities said. But the two never showed up at the courthouse and the officer did not go to the medical facility.
In the days following their disappearance, investigators determined that the officer and inmate had a “special relationship” in which Vicky White granted privileges to the inmate, including extra food. The investigation was aided, in part, by inmates who tipped off officials about the relationship over the weekend, Singleton said.
Vicky White, deputy director of Lauderdale County Corrections, was due to retire on the day of her disappearance. She had also made some major financial moves leading up to the breakout, such as selling her house on April 18 for well below market value. The house sold for $95,550, documents show, but county records show the current total value of the parcel is $235,600.
“Obviously a lot of planning went into it,” Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday.
Relatives and colleagues say they are stunned by the sudden disappearance of the head of corrections, whom Singleton described as a “model employee” with a “clean record”.
Vicky White has an active warrant for her arrest for enabling or facilitating a first degree escape. She is also no longer employed by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, the office said in a statement Wednesday. While Friday was his last day of work, his paperwork was never finalized, the office said.
Relationship started in 2020, says sheriff
Investigators traced the relationship to early 2020, when Casey White was brought to Lauderdale County for a murder arraignment he faces for the 2015 death of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway, according to the sheriff.
“As far as we know, that was the first physical contact they had,” Singleton said.
Casey White was returned to state prison after arraignment to continue serving a 75-year sentence for a series of crimes he committed in 2015. The sheriff said the officer and inmate had maintained communication by telephone. He had earlier said that Vicky White had visited Casey White while he was in prison – but said on Thursday that was incorrect.
Casey White was brought back to Lauderdale County Jail in February to attend court hearings related to his murder charges.
During this week’s inquest, inmates said Casey White was “getting extra food on her trays” and “getting privileges that no one else had. And it was all from her,” Singleton said.
“Some of the inmates here at our facility have let our investigators know there’s a relationship between the two,” Singleton told CNN. “We took their statements, what they said, followed up and we confirmed that in fact there was a relationship there.”
The district attorney expressed disbelief Thursday that Vicky White was romantically involved with the inmate.
“I never would have thought this in a million years,” he said, adding that it was “such a shock that she’s involved in this, and it’s just amazing.” he told CNN.
Connolly, who has known Vicky White for years, described her as reliable and a “solid employee”. If something needed to be done at the courthouse, for example, Vicky White was someone they could call, Connolly said.
“She was a longtime trusted employee in our prison and she just exploited the system,” he said, “and really abused the trust and credibility she had gained over the years. as a great employee.”
The video captures a quick escape
Vicky White brazenly violated department policy when she released Casey White from prison, officials say.
The institution had a policy requiring two sworn deputies to accompany inmates at all times, including during transport to the courthouse. Singleton said the policy was underlined in relation to Casey White after authorities discovered he had a plot to escape police custody and take a hostage in 2020 and discovered a makeshift knife on him .
But last Friday, Vicky White asked an officer to prepare Casey White for transport, saying she would take him to the courthouse alone since the other officers had already left for court and she was the only officer available. with a certified firearm, Singleton said.
Surveillance video shows Casey White, shackled and handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit, being escorted to the back of Vicky White’s patrol vehicle on Friday morning.
The investigation revealed that the couple then drove to a shopping center car park less than 10 minutes away, left the patrol car in the parking lot and escaped in a gold-colored 2007 Ford Edge SUV or copper with minor damage to the left rear bumper, authorities said.
“We know there was never an effort to get to the courthouse. They drove straight to the Florence Square parking lot, threw the patrol car, got into the other vehicle and drove off,” Singleton said.
Investigation delayed by runway release
Prior to their escape, Vicky White purchased the SUV in Rogersville, Lauderdale County, Singleton said. The day before she disappeared with Casey White, the officer parked the car in the mall parking lot. The couple drove to the parking lot the next day and fled in the SUV.
When investigators were finally able to confirm the description of the getaway car on Monday, they intended to send it internally to other law enforcement, but the lead was accidentally made public.
“The description of the car is what we worked hard on all weekend because we had no idea what kind of vehicle they went in,” Singleton told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday night. “We let law enforcement know to be on the lookout and inadvertently one of those agencies sent the description out publicly. It really set us back.
Singleton said the pair have likely ditched the car now because the description was widely shared.
Wherever they are, Connolly said he hopes Vicky White comes back safe and sound.
“I think she’s in danger,” he said when asked what message he would give her. “So I would say: go home.”
Singleton made a similar call Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“Vicky, you’ve been in this business for 17 years, you’ve seen this scenario play out more than once and you know how it always ends,” he said.
“Go ahead and end it now. Pick up a phone, call 911, walk in and help us get Casey White back behind bars, because you know that’s where he’s going to end up.
Correction: Due to incorrect information from the sheriff, an earlier version of this story inaccurately depicted Vicky White’s interactions with Casey White while in state prison. They were in contact by phone, but Vicky White did not visit Casey White in jail, according to a statement from Sheriff Rick Singleton.
An earlier version of this story had outdated value for Vicky White’s house; the most recent value was $235,600. The previous version also gave an incorrect location for Rogersville; it’s in Lauderdale County.
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CNN’s Michelle Watson, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Amara Walker, Jade Gordon, Ryan Young, Jaide Timm-Garcia and Tina Burnside contributed to this report.