An Alabama corrections officer and a capital murder suspect are missing after the officer said she was escorting him to a courthouse appointment — one that turned out not to exist, according to Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton.
Vicki White, assistant director of corrections for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, and inmate Casey Cole White, who are not related, left the detention center at about 9:30 a.m. Friday, bound for the courthouse, and they have not been seen since, said Sheriff Rick Singleton.
Singleton said Vicki White, a 25-year employee of the sheriff’s office, told subordinates she was taking Casey White for a mental health evaluation, and afterward would be seeking medical attention herself.
He said investigators have since learned there was no scheduled mental health evaluation or any other court appearance, and that the officer never sought medical attention.
Authorities found the vehicle in which they left the detention center in the parking lot of a Lauderdale County shopping center.
Vicki White was armed with a 9 mm handgun, Singleton said, and Casey White should be considered armed and dangerous. Singleton said he believes Vicki White is in danger now.
The sheriff said anyone who spots them should contact 911 immediately, and should not approach them.
Singleton described Casey White as 6 feet, 9 inches tall. A “Blue Alert” issued by Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said he is 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 252 pounds. He was a Department of Corrections inmate but had been brought to Lauderdale County to face capital murder charges.
It is not known whether this is a case of an assisted escape or if Vicki White was perhaps overpowered and kidnapped, the sheriff said. He said investigators are trying determine whether there a relationship between the two that others in the jail were not aware of.
Singleton said normal procedure in transporting a capital murder suspect would call for two armed officers. He said Vicki White arranged transports for inmates as one of her duties at the jail. She was a supervisor, he explained, so when she told her subordinates she was transporting the inmate, they didn’t question her.
“Investigators are currently attempting to locate any video that may tell us more about what we’re dealing with,” Singleton said in a statement. “The fact that the two are missing was not realized until approximately 3:30 p.m. this date (Friday).”
The News Courier in Athens, Alabama reported in April 2019 that Casey White was sentenced to 75 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of first-degree kidnapping and attempted murder.
He was accused of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping her two roommates. He was also convicted of first-degree robbery, first-degree and third-degree burglary, burglary of a vehicle, animal cruelty for shooting a dog, and attempting to elude.
He faced capital murder charges in the 2015 murder-for-hire slaying of Connie Ridgeway after she was found dead in her home. Charges in the case were brought in September 2020, WAFF TV reported.