An Alabama corrections officer accused of helping an inmate escape from jail is no longer employed with the sheriff’s office, the sheriff said Wednesday.
Sheriff Rick Singleton confirmed to NBC News that Vicky White is no longer with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, but did not say if she had been fired.
“Vicky White’s employment status is currently ‘No longer employed by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office,’” Singleton said in a statement. “Friday was her last day to work, however, her retirement papers were not finalized. This is a personnel issue that will be discussed on a later date.”
Vicky White, 56, is wanted on a charge of permitting or facilitating the escape of inmate Casey White from the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, about 70 miles west of Huntsville. The escape happened on the same day she was set to retire from the department. Vicky and Casey White are not related.
Singleton said in an interview with NBC News affiliate in Huntsville WAFF that he could not comment on whether the former corrections officer would lose her pension, but told the station that “she can’t access it right now.” A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office declined to provide further details.
Authorities have been searching for Vicky and Casey White for since last week. The pair left the jail Friday morning for a purported mental health evaluation in court, but investigators have since learned that there was no such evaluation scheduled, Singleton said.
As she was leaving, Vicky White told a booking officer that she was going to a medical appointment after she dropped off Casey White, who was jailed on a capital murder charge in the stabbing death of Connie Ridgeway. He confessed to the murder and was awaiting trial at the jail when he disappeared.
The sheriff said investigators learned that Vicky White had no medical appointment scheduled. Singleton also said that she transported the inmate by herself, which violates department policy that requires two sworn deputies to be present with an inmate facing those charges.
The sheriff said that they believe Vicky White willingly helped Casey White escape.
“I think all of our employees and myself included were really hoping that she did not participate in this willingly. But all indications are that she absolutely did,” Singleton said on “Good Morning America.”
The sheriff’s office previously said that the two had a “special relationship.” Singleton told WAFF that it was not physical or sexual in nature. He said Vicky White came into contact with Casey White in 2020 when he was at their facility and that she remained in contact with him when he was transferred back to the Department of Corrections.
“And obviously she had contact with him when he came back here Feb. 25,” the sheriff told WAFF. “I have no information there was any physical contact. The contact I’m aware of and the special treatment he got was in the form of she was taking really good care of him while he was here. Seeing that he had extra food, seeing that he had other things that inmates don’t normally have ... nothing that was contraband. There was obviously a relationship there.”
Vicky White also kept in contact with the inmate when she was away from work, according to the sheriff.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the capture of Vicky White and up to $10,000 for Casey White.
Singleton told ABC that investigators “actually don’t have any idea” where Vicky and Casey White may be. He said they were making progress on tracking the pair’s whereabouts, but it was hindered when information was released about the vehicle they were traveling in.
“We’re still working around the clock to locate them and try to get them back in custody,” the sheriff said.
This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.