LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton released a timeline of events, detailing what information they are working with as the investigation continues.
Singleton says the investigation that started on Friday night now has assistance on a federal level. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, U.S. Marshals and the FBI are all involved in trying to find Casey Cole White and Vicki White (no relation).
“Our primary focus is on locating AD White and re-capturing Inmate Casey White. Our secondary focus is on investigating the escape itself. Indications are, since no court appearance was scheduled, that AD White assisted in the escape.”
Singleton says regardless of Vicki’s involvement, she could very well be in danger.
“The question is, did she do so willingly or was she coerced into doing it by inmate White by threatening her and/or her family or other means.”
Casey was serving time on capital murder charges in connection to the death of Connie Ridgeway in 2015. He confessed to the murder in 2020 while in state prison for other crimes.
Vicki was the Assistant Director of Corrections for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and had worked for the department for 16 years. During a press conference Friday evening, Sheriff Singleton said Vicki was highly thought of among her coworkers.
According to Singleton, Vicki left the detention center with Casey around 9:41 a.m. to go to the courthouse (a short half-mile drive) for a mental health evaluation for the nearly 7-foot-tall inmate. Though armed with a 9mm, Vicki was now alone with Casey, a “direct violation of policy,” Singleton said.
The plan had been for Vicki to drop Casey off at the courthouse, after which she would be going to see medical attention because she wasn’t feeling well, according to the sheriff.
It was around 11 a.m. when the marked patrol car, a Ford Taurus, was found empty in the parking lot of a local shopping center. During Friday’s press conference, Singleton said they would attempt to find security camera footage to “hopefully ID a vehicle.”
Over four hours later, around 3:30, deputies were trying to call Vicki, but her phone was going straight to voicemail. They realized, too, that Casey was not back from the mental health evaluation at the courthouse.
Singleton said his department was “aggressively investigating” the incident and would be looking into previous interactions between the two to “see if something else was going on.” Singleton confirmed to News 19 that Vicki turned in her retirement papers the day before she went missing.
Authorities say if you see them, do not approach, and call 911 immediately. If you have any information, contact the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office at (256) 760-5757.