Casey White, age 38, was in the Lauderdale County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing on a murder charge when he was whisked away by a female corrections officer with whom he appears to have formed a relationship. 56-year-old Vicky White, who is not related, was seen on video surveillance at the jail assisting him in walking out the doors of the jail, placing him into a sheriff’s patrol car, and driving away from him on April 29, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. The pair currently remains at large. They are believed to be armed with an AR-15 and a shotgun.
In a statement made on May 4, Mr. White’s former girlfriend pleaded with Ms. White to get away from him at her earliest convenience. While the woman remains unidentified in the press, she was a victim of Mr. White in 2015, when he shot at her with a shotgun and warned that he would finish her off if he ever got out of jail. She warned Ms. White that she was in danger and “disposable” to the cold-blooded killer. She said that Mr. White is manipulative and suggested Ms. White seek help before she “loses her life or somebody else does.”
The attack happened in December 2015, when Mr. White broke into an Athens, Alabama, home and forced two men onto the floor at gunpoint. According to court documents, he then fired multiple times at his ex-girlfriend, but she managed to escape. Two children were found cowering in the basement and a dog was located in the hallway home the home, dead from a gunshot wound. The police report says that Mr. White told investigators that he wanted to kill his ex and then have the police kill him. He expressed a desire to finish the job if ever released from jail. His intended victim is currently being protected by US Marshals.
During the same period, Mr. White committed a home invasion and two carjackings, one included shooting the driver in the arm, according to WHNT. He was caught after leading police on a high-speed chase, exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour. He was taken into custody after getting stuck in a field in Huntsville, Alabama, and being talked into putting his weapon down and surrendering by police familiar with him.
Mr. White’s crime spree resulted in convictions on nine counts that included attempted murder, kidnapping, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, breaking and entering a vehicle, animal cruelty, and attempting to elude. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison. In June 2020, while serving his sentence for these crimes, he confessed to the murder of Connie Ridgeway two months before his arrest. It was this confession that brought him to the Lauderdale County Jail to await trial and led to his escape.
On the day of the escape, Ms. White told her chain of command that she was taking Mr. White for a mental health evaluation. She was due to retire the following day. Instead, she placed him into the police vehicle and left for parts unknown. U.S. Marshals called in on the case believe the couple may have then transferred to a copper-colored 2007 Ford Edge.
Local police and federal agents are currently involved in a full-scale manhunt for the violent killer and his accomplice. Mr. White was looking at the death penalty if convicted for the 2015 murder of 59-year-old Connie Ridgeway who he killed at her Rogersville, Alabama home. He confessed to the crime, but claimed he was paid to kill her, but gave no motive or the name of who hired him.
Mr. White had requested a transfer from prison into the county jail in 2020, but it was denied after a handmade knife was found hidden in the shower he used. They believed that he was planning to use it in an escape attempt. He had only been moved back to the jail in February 2022 to face charges for the murder of Ridgeway.
On the morning of the escape, an inmate transport van left the Lauderdale County Jail with seven inmates and two deputy escorts at 8:47 a.m. At 8:56 a.m., a separate transport van left the jail with five inmates and two deputy escorts. At 9:20 a.m., Ms. White, an Assistant Director, directed a deputy to prepare Mr. White for transport to the courthouse. The deputy retrieved Mr. White from his cell and took him to booking, where he secured him in handcuffs and leg shackles for transport.
At 9:30 a.m., Ms. White is seen on video opening the door for Mr. White to exit and then opening the car door for him to get in before closing the door and getting in behind the wheel. At 9:41 a.m., the car left the detention center, presumably headed to the courthouse for the mental health evaluation she had claimed he was scheduled to undergo. No such evaluation was scheduled.
When questioned about taking Mr. White out alone—a violation of protocol and a questionable practice due to his substantially larger 6-foot-9-inch frame—Ms. White assured the booking officer that she was fire-arm trained and that she would be turning him over to other officers upon arrival at the courthouse. She also explained that she wouldn’t be returning immediately, claiming she had a doctor’s appointment.
By 9:49 a.m., surveillance cameras showed Ms. White’s police cruiser parked in the Florence Square Shopping Center near the jail. Nearly two hours later, a patrol officer noted the cruiser still parked there.
At 3:30 p.m. that afternoon, the booking officer made a report to jail administration that he was unable to contact Ms. White. Her phone was going straight to voicemail, and he was concerned about her welfare. A check of inmate records revealed that Casey had not been returned to the jail by her or other officers.
Frances White, the mother of Ms. White’s deceased husband, Tommy White, who passed away earlier in the year from Parkinson’s Disease, told WAAY TV that she believes her former daughter-in-law was brainwashed by the criminal. She described her as a sweet person who would not ordinarily help a killer flee from justice. However, as she has learned more about the relationship between the two fugitives, she is just glad her son never saw this side of his wife.
“I'm just proud he wasn't still alive, ‘cause he still thought she was a good person. I can’t imagine her running off with that guy, but you never know. He walked into a woman’s house and stabbed her.” – Frances White, speaking to the Daily Beast
Ordinarily, an officer would not have been allowed to take out a prisoner without another police escort, but Ms. White was in charge of transport and used her position to override procedure, according to Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton.
“But I'm sure because it was her boss, the booking officer didn't question it. If she did this willingly, and all indications are that she did ... I guess we're trying to hold on to that last straw of hope that maybe for some reason she was threatened and did this under coercion, but absolutely you'd feel betrayed.” – Sheriff Singleton, speaking to CNN
According to CNN, fellow officers and members of jail staff were shocked by the incident, calling her a “model employee.” There do seem to have been signs that something was going on in her life though. Detectives have found that she and Mr. White have been corresponding for around two years, pre-dating his return to her jail. Ms. White had applied for retirement the day before the escape, ending an exemplary 17 years with the force. She had been living with her mother after recently selling her home. It now seems that these actions may have been in preparation for her disappearance.
Ms. White had spoken to co-workers about going to the beach on what was to be her last day at work. It is believed that she has plenty of cash on hand from the sale of her home. However, police have warned that she is with a very dangerous individual who is a threat to her and others. On May 2, charges were filed against her for “permitting or facilitating an escape in the first degree” in addition to the escape charges filed against Mr. White.
U.S. Marshals have posted a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that will lead them to the whereabouts of Vicky White. They are offering $10,000 for information leading to Casey White. The public has been warned that both are armed and dangerous. Any sightings can be reported to the U.S. Marshals Service 24 hours per day at 313-202-6458 or 1-800-WANTED2.