Car linked to Alabama escapee, prison worker found
FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The escape vehicle used by a man wanted for murder in Alabama and the prison official suspected of helping him escape after a “prison romance” was found in a Tennessee pound, where he stayed for nearly a week before authorities realized they had him, officials said Friday.
Lauderdale County, Alabama Sheriff Rick Singleton told a news conference that the Ford Edge with distinctive burnt orange paint was found on the side of a road and towed the same day as Casey White, accused of murder, and former assistant director of corrections Vicky White had disappeared. The vehicle was found in a rural area off Interstate 65, about 100 miles (approximately 160 kilometers) from the jail in Florence, Alabama.
Authorities in Williamson County, Tennessee realized they had the vehicle Thursday evening, hours after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the two, who are not related, are “deemed extremely dangerous “, and the US Marshals Service took over. conduct the research.
Officials said they hoped Casey White’s height – 6ft 9in and 340lbs – would help lead to his capture as it is difficult for him to be inconspicuous. He also has identifiable white supremacist tattoos. He and Vicky White appeared to have had a “prison romance” before his escape, Singleton said.
“They found the car before we even knew they were gone,” Singleton said. Some of Vicky White’s personal effects were found in the vehicle, which someone had attempted to spray paint, he said.
The driver of the tow truck who transported the vehicle to many likely saw the media coverage of the escape and notified Tennessee police, Singleton said.
“There is no fault or blame on anyone,” he said.
The Williamson County Sheriff‘s Office said the vehicle was found in Bethesda and there was no indication the two remained in the area.
A nationwide manhunt has been underway since the pair disappeared on April 29. Casey White was awaiting trial in a capital murder case and Vicky White was deputy director of Lauderdale County Corrections. She appears to have helped him plan and execute the escape, Singleton said.
Authorities are now trying to determine if any vehicles were missing in the area where the car was found, he said.
“We’re kind of back to square one with a vehicle description,” Singleton said, adding at one point, “We’re late to where we’d like to be.”
The two likely had mechanical issues with the car and left it where it was found in a remote area, Singleton said. The sheriff said he was worried for his former employee’s safety as Casey White is “volatile” and could turn on her at any time.
No weapons were found in the car, indicating the two are still armed, Singleton said. “My gut tells me they’re obviously on the run,” he said.
On the day the couple went missing, Vicky White, 56, told her colleagues that the 38-year-old inmate had to go to the courthouse for a mental health assessment. She was escorting the inmate alone – a violation of sheriff’s office policy. When she didn’t answer her phone or return in the afternoon, authorities realized the couple had disappeared. Authorities eventually learned that the evaluation was never scheduled and was just a charade to allow Vicky White to get Casey White out of jail without suspicion.
The two drove off in a patrol car, which was found abandoned nearby in a parking lot where investigators believe Vicky White had parked a getaway car.
Over the past week, authorities have learned that Vicky White purchased an array of weapons, including an AR-15 rifle in January and a shotgun two weeks before the escape. They also believe she has a 9mm handgun with her and have received reports that she may also have a .45 caliber handgun, a federal marshal said.
Federal investigators believe they had been planning the escape for at least several months. The Marshals Department and the Sheriff’s Office interviewed a large number of associates, family members and others who knew both Casey White and Vicky White and received extensive advice during the investigation. . But despite their best efforts, investigators have found no solid leads to locate them.
The Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to Casey White’s capture and a $5,000 reward for information leading to Vicky White. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey added a reward of $5,000 each for the two.
“Casey White and Vicky White both pose a major threat to the public, and they must be apprehended,” she said in a statement.
Casey White was being held in prison for capital murder during the 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway. He confessed to the murder in 2020 while in state prison for other crimes. He has been linked to home invasions, carjackings and has also been involved in a police chase, Keely said.
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