Federal authorities have joined a manhunt for a capital murder suspect in Alabama amid questions about whether a corrections officer may have helped him escape.
Casey White, a 6-foot-9, 260-pound suspect, was at the Lauderdale County Jail awaiting trial for two counts of capital murder when he vanished on April 29 after the assistant director of corrections said she was transporting him from the jail.
Vicky White, 56, no relation to the suspect, told authorities she was bringing Casey White from jail to a courthouse for a planned mental health evaluation, but the evaluation was never scheduled, according to investigators. She also said she planned to go to a medical appointment after dropping him off, which was not true, according to investigators.
No one has heard from Vicky White since April 29, and her phone has gone directly to voicemail, police said.
"It just, you know, there’s just no way really, other than that she assisted," Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said on TODAY Monday.
The possible involvement of Vicky White in Casey White's escape is especially stunning because she had been named Employee of the Year four times and had an "unblemished" record, according to Singleton.
However, Singleton said she violated policy because two sworn deputies were supposed to be with Casey White while he was being transported.
Vicky White is a widow with no children who has been with the corrections department for 17 years. Singleton said the day before she went missing, she submitted her retirement papers. Investigators later found her patrol car abandoned at a shopping center.
"All indications are that she assisted his escape," Singleton said. "The question we’re trying to answer and we may not be able to answer this until we get her back safely, is did she do that willingly or was someone from outside threatening her?"
Casey White was serving time for a 2015 home invasion and carjacking. In 2020, he was charged with two counts of capital murder after confessing to the 2015 stabbing of Connie Ridgeway, 58. He later pleaded not guilty and tried to escape the same jail he left last week.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to Casey White's capture. Authorities believe he could now be armed with Vicky White's 9 mm handgun and have warned people not to try to apprehend him.