(NewsNation) — An 11-day manhunt that placed a tight-knit town on edge has come to an end with the capture of an escaped inmate and the death of a female corrections officer who authorities say broke him out of jail.
Investigators believe corrections officer Vicky White helped capital murder suspect Casey White escape the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama, on April 29. They remained on the run until leading U.S. marshals on a chase Monday afternoon in Evansville, Indiana that ended in a crash.
After the crash, Vicky White was rushed to a hospital for a gunshot wound. She has since died at the Evansville Deaconess Midtown Hospital. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday morning.
Moments before Vicky White’s death was confirmed, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton shared the following sentiment on NewsNation Prime: “It’s unfortunate. I hate that it ended that way for her. We certainly didn’t wish her any … harm. We were hoping we could get her back safely. She has a family that loves her. In spite of everything, we hope she pulls through it.”
Now, Singleton says it’s obvious he will never get answers from Vicky White about the escape.
“Unfortunately it turned out like this, but at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me. My concern was Casey White would kill her. But, also in the back of my head, I’ve been concerned that if they were both caught this might happen,” Singleton said.
“Knowing Vicky and what she’d be facing coming back — and more than facing the charges, facing her family and coworkers — I was just concerned that would really weigh on her and if it came down to a situation like it did today, this would be the result.”
“I walked up to the truck and went ‘oh my God, it’s probably this guy from Alabama”: A tipster tells @BrianEntin he spotted Casey White and Vicky White at an Indiana carwash, sparking a chase that led to their capture. Full story: https://t.co/zl9VBMiIxr pic.twitter.com/LwWITFPGrR— NewsNation (@NewsNation) May 9, 2022
Inmate Casey White has been hospitalized for injuries after the crash. Investigators on the scene described Casey’s injuries as “not that bad” and noted that he was cooperating with police. He is expected to be transported back to Alabama for arraignment.
As for Casey White, Sheriff Singleton says extra measures will be put in place to isolate him from the rest of the detention center and that he will be “shackled 24/7.”
“We got a dangerous man off the street today. He is never going to see the light of day again. That’s a good thing for not just our community but that’s a good thing for this country,” Singleton said.
Casey White’s capture comes after an Indiana car wash manager noticed a suspicious truck left at his business for days and tipped off the U.S. Marshals Service, even providing surveillance footage of a man appearing to be Casey White at the car wash.
From there, USMS tracked Casey White and Vicky White to a hotel on a busy road in Evansville. Spotting authorities, the pair fled the hotel, leading marshals and Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s deputies on the chase that ended in their crash and capture.
Prior to their capture, investigators followed Casey White and Vicky White’s trail through three states: Alabama, Tennessee and Indiana.
As the manhunt stretched on, investigators peeled back layers of what seemed to be a calculated plan behind Casey White’s escape and corrections officer Vicky White, who police say fooled those who knew her best.
Investigators uncovered what’s been described as a “special relationship” between the two that had been ongoing for the last two years, with Casey White receiving favors such as extra food and attention from Vicky White while jailed.
Before the escape, authorities say Vicky White sold her home, checked into a hotel, bought a different vehicle, took thousands out of the bank and was set to retire from the job she held for nearly 17 years.
“Next week, when we present our annual awards, she was voted the corrections employee of the year, so it’s just come as a total shock to her law enforcement family in the sheriff’s office. I don’t know how to explain it,” Sheriff Singleton said.
At the time of Casey White’s escape, he was charged with capital murder for a deadly stabbing and was already serving a 75-year sentence for a 2015 crime spree that involved a home invasion, carjacking and police chase. Before her death, officials intended on charging Vicky White with permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree, forgery and identity theft.
The U.S. Marshals Service had previously been offering $15,000 for information leading to the capture of Casey White and $10,000 for information leading to the capture of Vicky White. It’s unclear if the car wash manager will be receiving the reward money.