(NewsNation) — The manhunt for an escaped Lauderdale County inmate and a corrections officer has finally come to an end, and their capture is thanks in part to a man who works at an Indiana car wash and tipped off investigators.
James Stinson noticed a suspicious truck at his car wash in Evansville, Indiana, sticking out of one of the bays last Tuesday.
“I noticed the car hanging out of the bay, which was unusual. It kept sitting there … Every time I left and came back, the truck was still there,” Stinson said.
He alerted authorities about the unusual sighting on Wednesday.
“I walked up to the truck and went, ‘Oh my God, it’s probably this guy from Alabama.’ I walked and looked in the truck because I think he could be dead, passed out, who knows? So I backed up. I opened the door, the keys are in it. I start it up. I Googled the local police department’s number because I didn’t want to call 911.
“They send a cop out. The cop says, ‘Well there ain’t nothing I can do. It’s not reported stolen.’ He ran the plates. Then he left and came back. He looked in it again. He found a gun lock in the seat and said, ‘Oh my God, there’s a gun lock but there ain’t no guns around.’ So he left. He just said, ‘Do what you’ve got to do.’ I towed it,” Stinson said.
Stinson decided to have the car towed Wednesday. Sunday, he ended up being contacted by the U.S. Marshals Service about the truck, which is when he checked his surveillance footage to find a man matching Casey White’s description behind the truck at the car wash. He says officers told him they had authorities on their way, but that they didn’t show up until Monday morning.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon, when authorities in Evansville tracked the duo to a hotel. They took off, and the chase was on, with U.S. Marshals and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office in pursuit of the Alabama fugitives; the chase ended in a rollover crash with both suspects in custody.
“I’m just glad it’s over and nobody got hurt. I was more concerned about one person trying to confront them. It took a team, and I’m glad it ended this way,” Stinson said.
“This guy has nothing to live for; he’s dangerous. Any one of us could’ve said something wrong and he’d have went off. I could’ve got on him for leaving the car in the wash bay, but I chose not to.”
Stinson says the important message is if you see something, say something. It’s that message — and his action behind it — that Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton could not be more thankful for.
“Thank you, James. You are a key player in getting a violent criminal off the streets. In cases like this, it’s often our citizens who solve them for us,” Singleton said.
Casey White and Vicky White had been on the run since April 29 after authorities say Vicky White helped Casey White escape the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama. Investigators followed the breadcrumbs north from Alabama to Tennessee and eventually Indiana.
At the time of Casey White’s escape, he was charged with capital murder for a deadly stabbing and was already serving a 75-year sentence for a 2015 crime spree that involved a home invasion, carjacking and police chase.
Vicky White died after authorities say she suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her autopsy will be performed on Tuesday.
The U.S. Marshals Service had previously been offering $15,000 for information leading to the capture of Casey White and $10,000 for information leading to the capture of Vicky White. It’s unclear if Stinson will be receiving the reward money.
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