Police are looking for a North Alabama jail warden who disappeared with an inmate after selling his home and retired

Lauderdale Correctional Officer Vicky White and suspected murder Casey Cole White have been missing since Friday April 29.

Lauderdale County authorities on Monday obtained an arrest warrant for Deputy Correctional Director Vicky White, accusing her of allowing or facilitating an escape.

White, a 25-year-old veteran of the sheriff’s office, and murder suspect Casey White, who is not related to her, have been missing since 9:41 a.m. Friday.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said Monday that White was working on her last day of work after filing paperwork for retirement.

Singleton said efforts continue to find video evidence of what happened after White told her subordinates that they took Casey White to the courthouse for a mental health exam and left the prison with the suspect handcuffed and shackled .

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Surveillance cameras captured the tagged vehicle Vicki White was driving at 9:49 a.m. and showed the couple heading straight to the parking lot, where that vehicle was later found abandoned, the sheriff said — not to the courthouse. Singleton said it showed Vicky White driving, with Casey White in the back seat.

Casey Cole White, pictured last Tuesday.  Lauderdale County authorities noticed the shorter hair and facial hair in this more recent picture.

Casey Cole White, pictured last Tuesday. Lauderdale County authorities noticed the shorter hair and facial hair in this more recent picture.

Whatever Vicki White’s actions and intentions may have been in this case, Singleton and US Marshal Martin Keely warned that Casey White, 38, is of grave concern to law enforcement.

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Somewhere, a police officer will get in touch with him, Singleton said. “Don’t take any chances with him. He is extremely dangerous.”

Keely said Casey White may have made an effort to change up his looks, but at 6ft 9in tall he will stand out.

Among the details provided so far by the Sheriff’s Office:

  • Two vans exited the Lauderdale County Detention Center with inmates heading to court Friday morning.

  • Minutes after the second van left, Singleton said Vicky White asked to bring Casey White up for transport. As an assistant director, Vicky White arranged prisoner transports; When she said she was the only one certified to carry a firearm and transport Casey White — against prison protocol — no one questioned her. “She was the boss,” Singleton said.

  • Vicky White also told her colleagues that she doesn’t feel good about going to see a doctor after taking the suspect to court. Singleton said there was no indication she actually dated; It was confirmed that there was no reason to take Casey White to court.

  • The search for the CO and the occupant began around 3:30 p.m.; Colleagues were unable to reach Vicky White by phone and discovered that Casey White had not been returned to prison.

  • Vicky White was armed with a 9mm pistol; Singleton said Casey White should be viewed as armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Singleton said the office received a number of tips – including a potential lead to a vehicle the two may have switched into after leaving the tagged unit.

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The US Marshals Service considers the case an important one, Keely said; A $10,000 reward for information has been offered.

Colleagues are in shock

Singleton said evidence indicates the escape was orchestrated and that Vicky White played a role in that orchestration.

He said whether this was voluntary or the result of coercion or threats is not known at this time.

Vicki White, Associate of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office

Vicki White, Clerk of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office

“For those of us who have worked with Vicky White for years,” Singleton said, “this is not the Vicky White that we knew.” She was a model employee, he said.

He described the atmosphere in the office on Friday night as “like a wake” in which everyone was shocked.

Singleton said investigators are looking at video footage inside the prison and reviewing phone records for signs of a relationship between the jailer and the inmate. Vicky White’s duties, he said, took her throughout the remand prison and into contact with inmates.

The sheriff said they are trying to determine if Vicky White spent an exceptional amount of time with Casey White.

Singleton said Vicky White recently sold her home so she may have access to funds from it; Money from her retirement would not have been available to her yet. WAAY-TV in Huntsville reported that the home sale closed on April 12.

Casey White has been in the Lauderdale County Jail since February, with court dates pending in connection with charges relating to the stabbing death of 59-year-old Rogersville resident Connie Jane Ridgeway, who was killed in October 2015 in what authorities have described as a murder-for-hire plan.

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In December 2015, Casey White was charged with one count of killings: home invasion, two theft cars and multiple shootings, which resulted in convictions and a 75-year prison sentence. He was later charged in Ridgeway’s death.

Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or donna.thornton@gadsdentimes.com.

This article originally appeared in the Gadsden Times: Alabama escaped inmate: Arrest warrant issued for Vicky White

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