“Apparently, she may have participated voluntarily. But, somehow, someone came up to her and forced or intimidated her, forcing her to help escape this,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told CNN Monday.
“We’m not sure. I’m not going to know the answer until we find her.”
Vicky White, assistant director of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, was seen last Friday when she said she was taking prisoner Casey White, who was being held on murder charges, to a county court for a mental assessment.
But the unrelated officer and the prisoner never came to court. Authorities later discovered that no assessment or investigation was planned for Casey White that day.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said the Vicky White patrol vehicle used to drive the prisoner was also abandoned.
“It never came to court. Then it was found in the parking lot of a shopping center about 2 miles from the detention center,” Singleton told CNN on Monday.
Shortly before he disappeared, Vicky White said he was also planning to seek medical treatment because he was unwell, Singleton said. But she never came.
The sheriff said video security footage of the area where the patrol vehicle was found showed no evidence of what happened to Vicky White and Casey White.
“We are actively pursuing every front we get,” he said. “The biggest hurdle we have now is we don’t have vehicle details on which vehicle they may have been transferred to.”
There is no proof of a romantic relationship, but ‘it is a possibility’
Vicky White was known as an “exemplary employee” with an “impeccable record,” the sheriff said.
“All of his colleagues, all of the staff in the sheriff’s office, all of the judges, all have a lot of respect for him,” Singleton said.
The sheriff said Vicky White was a childless widow and her mother and two brothers live in Lauderdale County.
After nearly two decades in the department, Vicky White submitted her retirement papers last week, the sheriff said.
Despite her star professional reputation, Casey White removed herself from the detention center when Vicky White violated the protocol on Friday, the sheriff said. The policy required Casey White to go with the two delegates who took office.
“There were all precautionary measures,” Singleton said. “The questions we have are why Director White violated the policy.”
The sheriff said there was no clear evidence that Vicky White and Casey White had a personal relationship.
As county’s assistant director, Vicky White “was often in cell blocks, interacting with all inmates at one time or another,” Singleton said.
“But as far as a romantic relationship or something like that is possible, we have no evidence that it was so.”
‘She’s definitely in danger – whether she likes it or not’
Casey White was sentenced in 2015 to 75 years in prison for a series of crimes, according to the U.S. Marshals Service, which is investigating the disappearance of prisoner and Vicky White.
U.S. Marshals say Casey White faces two counts of stabbing to death 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway in 2015.
In 2020, Casey White pleaded guilty to murder and later pleaded not guilty, Lauderdale County Attorney Chris Connolly said. The prisoner was detained pending trial.
Now that the murder suspect is large and the correctional officer is missing, Singleton said, “the community is just as concerned as we are.”
“She’s definitely in danger whether she likes it or not. There is no one to confuse this guy,” the sheriff said.
“He’s 6-feet-9, somewhere about 250 pounds. … We assume he was armed because she was armed.”
In 2020, Casey White planned to escape from prison and take a hostage, but was caught by detention center staff, Singleton said.
The prison established a policy of forcing two incumbent representatives to accompany him at all times, including when going to court, the sheriff said.
“He was in jail for murder and he has nothing to lose,” the sheriff said.
“We do not know whether she helped him or not. We will not talk about it until we have full evidence that it happened. If it cannot be proved otherwise, we consider it taken against her will at this point. “
“As a mother, I didn’t know how to act because at first I thought it was wrong,” Davis said. “And then when I found out for sure, it’s hopelessness.”
Davis told WAAY that Vicky White had recently sold her house and had been living with her mother for the past five weeks. The mother said her daughter did not talk much about work, did not talk about retirement, did not talk about Casey White.
“I know nothing about him,” Davis said. “We do not know whether she was forcibly taken away or whether she was arbitrarily involved. But we need her back. That’s all we need.”
The US Marshall Service is offering a reward of up to $ 10,000 for information on Vicky White’s location and Casey White’s information.
CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield, Rebekah Reiss, Keith Allen and Jamiel Lynch contributed to the report.
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