Vicki White, the assistant director of corrections for Lauderdale County, picked up Casey White, the inmate, from prison Friday morning, saying she was taking the inmate to county court.
The service said Sunday that the two, who officials said are not related, have not been seen since, and the US Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the inmate and the location of the officer.
Here’s what we know.
Vicki White said she was taking Casey White for a mental health assessment when she got him out of prison. She said she would get medical attention after the prisoner was lowered into the courtroom because she was not feeling well.
Authorities discovered later that day that no such evaluation — or any court hearing — of Casey White was scheduled for that day, and Vicki White never got to where she would have been to receive medical care, according to the Mayor. Lauderdale County Rick Singleton. .
That afternoon, worried prison officers tried to reach Vicki White, but her phone went straight to voicemail. It was then that they discovered Casey White had not been sent back to prison.
Authorities are looking into all possibilities, including whether a corrections officer helped Casey White escape.
“By knowing the inmate, I believe she is in danger, whatever the circumstances,” Singleton said Friday.
“He was in prison for premeditated murder, and he had nothing to lose. We don’t know whether she helped him or not, and we won’t deal with that until we have conclusive evidence that that’s what happened. We’re assuming in this you imply that she was taken against her will unless We can prove otherwise. But regardless, even if she helps him, we think she’s in danger,” Singleton said.
A 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car Vicki White was seen in the parking lot of the shopping center Friday morning, according to the Sheriff.
Singleton’s office looked at all security video footage in the area where the car was spotted, but there is no evidence yet that the two are in another vehicle.
The officer went against politics
In her job as the assistant director of corrections, Vicki White coordinates all transfers from the detention center to court, so I learned that protocol called for two jurors to be with Casey White at all times, since he was an inmate on premeditated murder charges. According to Singleton.
“All precautions were taken,” Singleton said. “The questions we’re asking director White are why she’s violating the policy.”
Sheriff said Vicki White was a “perfect employee”
Singleton told CNN reporter Frederica Whitfield Saturday morning that the corrections officer has been with the mayor’s office for nearly two decades and “is doing a tremendous job.”
“All her co-workers, all the staff in the sheriff’s office, the judges, all have the utmost respect for her,” Singleton said. “She has an impeccable record. She is an exemplary employee. So we are extremely concerned for her safety.”
Singleton said Friday that Vicki White recently talked about retiring.
Casey White considered ‘armed and dangerous’
Casey White spent 75 years on a string of crimes he committed in Limestone County in 2015. The outburst included housebreaking, car theft and police chases, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
In 2020, he confessed to the 2015 murder of a woman in Rogersville, Alabama, according to Lauderdale County Prosecutor Chris Connolly. White subsequently pleaded not guilty to the crime and was held in a detention facility awaiting trial.
Singleton said the prisoner had intended to escape and take someone hostage in 2020, but his plan was discovered and a policy was put in place that two jurors should be with him at all times, including during transport to court.
Singleton said that because Vicki White had a 9mm pistol, authorities are assuming Casey White, 6’9″, is now armed and should be considered dangerous.
In a press release announcing a reward of up to $10,000, the service said the US Marshals Service took over the case. CNN previously reported that the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI were also involved in the investigation.
“Casey White is believed to pose a serious threat to the corrections officer and the public,” Marshall Marty Kelly said in the statement.
“Anyone with information on White’s location or the Assistant Director of Corrections in the event of White’s disappearance, we urge them to contact law enforcement,” the statement read. “You can call the USMS Call Center at 1-800-336-0102. Anonymous advice can also be submitted via the US Marshals Tip.”
“Don’t try to catch this fugitive,” Kelly said.