(NewsNation) — An arrest warrant was issued Monday for the jail official who went missing with an escaped Alabama murder suspect, according to the Lauderdale County sheriff.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said a warrant was issued for Vicky White’s arrest for permitting or assisting in an escape.
“We know she participated,” Singleton said, adding that authorities are still investigating to see whether she was threatened or not.
A manhunt continued for Vicky White, the facility’s assistant director of corrections, and inmate Casey Cole White as authorities worked to determine the relationship between the pair. Investigators said the two are not related.
“We consider both of them dangerous and in all probability both of them are armed,” U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said at a press conference Monday.
On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals Service offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to their capture.
Casey Cole White, 38, had been jailed on a capital murder charge in the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama, about 75 miles west of Huntsville.
Vicky White left the detention center on Friday morning to go to a nearby courthouse for what she said was a mental health evaluation for Casey White, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
Vicky White was alone with the inmate, which the sheriff said violated department policy. She was also armed.
“Our policy is for any inmate with those kinds of charges to have two sworn deputies escort them. And that did not happen,” Sheriff Singleton said.
Vicky White also told co-workers she had a doctor’s appointment scheduled, which was confirmed, but the office said the deputy never showed, the sheriff said. Officials said no one realized the two were missing until about six hours after they left the jail. Deputies tried to contact Vicky White but her phone repeatedly went to voicemail.
Vicky White had been with the department for 17 years. Singleton told NewsNation that Vicky White had turned in her retirement papers the day before she went missing.
“She was a very respected employee. She was voted four of the last seven years the favorite supervisor or employee in our department of corrections by her peers. They are in total disbelief and shocked that she has been involved in something like this,” Singleton said on “Morning in America.” “But right now all the evidence indicates that she did assist him in his escape. Our question is did she do that willingly or was she somehow coerced or threatened into that action?”
The patrol car the officer and the inmate were in when they left the detention center was found at a nearby shopping center parking lot, according to the sheriff’s office.
Singleton said surveillance video led authorities to believe “that the patrol car left the detention center and went straight to the parking lot” where it was found.
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.”
“If she did this willingly, you know, those of us who work with Vicki White, and have worked with her for years, this is not the Vicki White, we know. By any stretch of the imagination,” Singleton said. “She has been an exemplary employee.”
While in state prison for other crimes in 2020, Casey White confessed to the 2015 stabbing death of Connie Ridgeway, NewsNation affiliate WHNT reported.
In an earlier statement, U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said “Casey White is believed to be a serious threat to the corrections officer and the public.”
“Totally shocked,” Austin Williams said to NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Monday.
Williams is the son of the Connie Rideway and tells the program he is confused as to how this even happened.
“How is it even possible? Somebody really needs to find out how this happened,” he said.
Maureen Baird is a federal prison correctional consultant and says the surrounding public at large should be concerned.
“She’s armed, which means that he’s armed. So if he overpowered or if she’s facilitating an escape, he’s armed either way,” Baird said to “Rush Hour” Monday.
The Marshals Service said Casey is 6 feet, 9 inches tall, and weighs about 260 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.
“Putting a firearm in this guys hands — I would be very concerned if I was living in that community,” she continued.
The Marshals Service said people with information about Casey White’s location or Vicky White’s disappearance can call the service at 1-800-336-0102. Anonymous tips may also be submitted through the U.S. Marshals Tip App.
This story is developing. Refresh for updates.