Jail Officer's Coworkers 'Devastated' After Allegedly 'Flagrant' Policy Violation Led to Inmate's Escape

"We've never had any situation like this with Vicky White," Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told CNN

This image provided by the U.S. Marshals Service on Sunday, May 1, 2022 shows part of a wanted poster for Casey Cole White. On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals announced it is offering up to $10,000 for information about escaped inmate Casey Cole White, 38, and a “missing and endangered” correctional officer, Vicky White, 56, who disappeared Friday after they left the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Ala. (U.S. Marshals Service via AP); This photo provided by Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office shows Assistant Director of Corrections Vicki White. The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office in said in a Facebook post Saturday, April 30, 2022, that White disappeared while escorting an inmate being held on capital murder charges. The inmate is also missing. ( Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Casey White and Vicky White. Photo: U.S. Marshals Service via AP; Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office via AP)

The alleged actions of Vicky White — the Alabama corrections officer who is believed to be on the run with a suspected killer she allegedly helped escape from jail — have left her longtime colleagues in shock, according to Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton.

"All of her co-workers are devastated," Singleton told CNN on Monday, after revealing during a press conference that warrants had been issued that morning for the arrests of both the inmate and the officer.

"We've never had any situation like this with Vicky White," Singleton added. "She was a model employee. If she did this willingly, and all indications are that she did ... I guess we're trying to hold on to that last straw of hope that maybe for some reason she was threatened and did this under coercion, but absolutely you'd feel betrayed."

On Friday morning, Vicky White, the Assistant Director of Corrections at the Lauderdale County Detention Center, allegedly told her co-workers she was escorting 38-year-old Casey White to court for a mental health evaluation. That was not true, Singleton said.

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Instead, the two — who are not related — appear to have driven to a nearby shopping complex, where they ditched the officer's patrol car in the parking lot, authorities say.

It would be hours before officials realized the prisoner and the officer had not returned.

The turn of events has left the corrections officer's mother in disbelief.

"We don't know if she was took by force or if she was voluntarily in this," Pat Davis told WAAY. "But we just want her back, that's all we want."

Vicky White had been living with her mother the last five weeks, after selling her home.

The day before the two vanished, Vicky White filed her retirement paperwork. Friday, the day of the escape, was her last day on the job.

On Monday, Singleton told reporters an arrest warrant had been issued for her, and confirmed detectives were investigating a potential romantic relationship between Vicky White and Casey White.

The warrant charges Vicky White, a 25-year veteran with the sheriff's office, with third-degree permitting or facilitating an escape.

Local and federal authorities have been searching for Casey White and Vicky White since Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, Singleton called Vicky White an "exemplary employee" during a press conference on the escape.

Casey White had been in jail since 2020, awaiting trial on two counts of capital murder. According to AL.com, he's accused of killing Connie Jane Ridgeway, 59, who was found dead in her living room back in October of 2015 in a potential murder-for-hire. He pleaded not guilty.

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Investigators have been sifting through surveillance footage, looking for clues. One video they've found shows the patrol car stopped at a traffic light at 9:49 a.m., just two blocks from the parking lot where it was later found.

Sheriff Rick Singleton said this suggests the car went straight from the jail to the parking lot.

Singleton said it's highly likely the two are no longer in Alabama.

If seen, Casey White should not be approached. Instead, authorities suggest people call 911 and report the sighting to police immediately.

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