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Escaped Alabama inmate, wanted jailer still on the run: Here’s what we know

This article contains all information confirmed to News 19 in the manhunt for inmate Casey Cole White and now former corrections employee Vicky White after leaving the Lauderdale County Detention Center on April 29, 2022.

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The nationwide manhunt continues for an escaped Lauderdale County inmate and the corrections employee who helped him.

Law enforcement officials are looking for inmate 38-year-old Casey White and former Assistant Director of Corrections, 56-year-old Vicky White who were reported missing on April 29 after leaving the Lauderdale County Detention Center. Vicky was an employee with the Sheriff’s Office for 16 years. Despite sharing a last name, the two are not related.

They have been on the run for more than a week now. Here is everything News 19 knows so far:

Preparations

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told News 19 that the night before Vicky helped the inmate escape – using a false claim that he had a mental health appointment at the courthouse – she stayed in a hotel near Florence Boulevard.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office says the surveillance video above is 1 hour, 10 minutes behind – the video is actually from just after 6:30 a.m. on April 29 – the day of the escape.

And, it appears, the hotel’s location was part of a larger plan. Investigators said Vicky White’s sheriff’s office car was found parked in Florence strip mall a few hours after the pair had left the jail.

Investigators learned the getaway car that she purchased a few days earlier – a copper-toned 2007 Ford Edge – was in the same lot the night before the escape. The hotel she stayed in was within walking distance of that lot at the Florence Square shopping mall, located at 180 Cox Creek Parkway.

The copper 2007 Ford Edge U.S Marshals said Vicky and Casey White used as their getaway car

Singleton says she drove her official car to work last Friday morning, picked up Casey White, and then switched vehicles. The pair haven’t been sighted since that day, according to authorities. 

Vicky White, according to Singleton, had been talking about her retirement for the past three to four months, had talked about visiting the beach and had recently sold her home. Court documents show that White sold her home in Lauderdale County on April 18, 2022, for $95,550.

News 19 asked Singleton why he thought Vicky White, 56, stayed at the hotel, rather than with her mother, where she’d been living since selling her own home.

“This is just basically, strictly, my own opinion,” Singleton said. “I think she didn’t want to face her mother that morning, knowing that she was going to leave.”

There has been public speculation that Casey confessed to the Ridgeway killing to get moved out of the prison system and into the Lauderdale County Jail.

Casey White was transferred from Donaldson Correctional Facility in February 2022. His trial for two counts of capital murder was scheduled to start in June 2022.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said Casey’s alleged confession to the killing spurred investigators to look at him as a suspect, and they didn’t stop there – they vetted his information and then charged him.

She had also turned in her retirement paperwork and April 29 was scheduled to be her last day on the job. Connolly told News 19 Vicky White went to several banks and withdrew $90,000 in cash from the sale of her house.

The Escape

On April 29 at 9:20 a.m. Vicky White told a corrections deputy to prepare inmate Casey White to be taken to the Lauderdale County Courthouse for a “mental health evaluation”. He was taken from his cell to booking where he was handcuffed and shackles placed on his legs.

At 9:41 a.m. Vicky White leaves the jail with Casey White after telling the booking officer she is the only one available with firearm certification. She explained to the officer that she was going to drop Casey White off at the courthouse before heading to the Med Plus clinic because she wasn’t feeling well.

Vicky and Casey drove from the jail to the shopping center where the getaway car was parked and drove away in an unknown direction. The car was spotted in security footage at 9:49 a.m. at a local gas station at the intersection of Cox Creek and Huntsville Road as it passed.

At 11:34 a.m. a Florence Police officer saw the patrol vehicle left among other cars in a parking lot of a local shopping center.

At 3:30 p.m. the booking officer reports that all calls to Vicky White were going straight to voicemail and neither she nor Casey White had returned from the courthouse. The courthouse was searched and security footage showed they had never arrived for the nonexistent mental health evaluation.

Casey White’s Criminal Past

Casey White has a history of violence, including a standoff with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office in 2015 – at that time, Casey was wanted in two states.

Former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said in December 2015, White broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home, shot at two of her friends, and killed her dog. White then went on the hunt for a vehicle, attempting two carjacking before successfully taking a third.

Blakely said Casey asked the sheriff to intervene during a standoff at which Casey pointed guns to each side of his head, and threatened to kill himself.

Casey White would eventually confess to the 2015 murder of Connie Ridgeway, and he was charged with her murder in 2020. He later pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease, and prosecutors said he was paid to kill Ridgeway.

A trial date was set for April 2022, leading to his return to the Lauderdale County Jail. However, his trial was continued in June.

A Re-Investigation

The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office officially reopened the investigation into the mysterious death of Casey White’s ex-girlfriend in 2008 as the manhunt continues.

The investigation involves the death of 31-year-old Christy Shelton, who was shot to death with a sawed-off shotgun. Officials initially ruled her death a suicide.

At the time of Shelton’s death, police said White was there at her home in Lexington. But after an investigation, he was ruled out as a suspect.  

Shelton’s family said they never believed that story. They asked questions about what exactly Casey was doing when Shelton was shot. Casey and Shelton were dating at the time and her family has taken to social media to push for a re-investigation into this case.

Somer Mitchell, the daughter of Christy Shelton, says when Casey White escaped with the assistance of prison guard Vicky White, it opened a range of uncontrollable emotions for her and her family who are seeking justice for her mother.

A spokesperson for the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office says that they are communicating with the family and reviewing the case.

“Special Relationship”

The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office spoke with inmates at the jail about Casey White and Vicky White. Several inmates said the two had a “special relationship”.

While Casey White was in Donaldson Prison, Vicky White kept in contact with him over the phone. The sheriff’s office said the two had been in contact for two years and there is the potential they have been planning his escape throughout that time.

Singleton explained. “Knowing they’ve had this relationship ongoing since 2020… her knowing eventually he’d be coming back here they could have been planning this for the past two years. And they could have been planning this when he got here in February, but there was some planning that went into this.”

Tattoos & Hairdos

Almost a full week into the search, the U.S. Marshals Service released new photos and descriptions of both Casey White and Vicky White on Thursday, May 5, showing tattoos and possible hair changes to disguise themselves.

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