Alabama jail escape: Here is what we know

Mid-South

(NewsNation) — The 11-day search for Alabama correctional officer Vicky White and her apparent plot to help inmate Casey White escape from jail has mesmerized true crime fans across the nation.

The two were caught in Evansville, Indiana after a tip from a car wash owner lead U.S. Marshals to their vehicle.

Hours after the capture and crash, Vicky White died. She was initially hospitalized for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Here is what we know about the case:

What happened?

Vicky White was the longtime assistant director of corrections in Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama, about 75 miles west of Huntsville.

On Friday, April 29, she drove to the detention center, telling colleagues she was taking inmate Casey White to the courthouse for a mental evaluation.

The deputy removed the inmate from his cell and took him to booking, where he was handcuffed and his legs shackled.

She loaded him into the back of a police cruiser and the pair then vanished nearly without a trace.

Vicky White was alone with the inmate, which the sheriff said violated department policy.

Authorities later learned Casey White’s mental evaluation at the courthouse was never scheduled and the patrol car was found dumped in an area without a security camera not far from the detention center.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick 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 also said a warrant was issued for Vicky White’s arrest for permitting or assisting in an escape.

On May 3, James Stinson noticed a truck was left in his Evansville, Indiana car wash. For several days he’d get back to work and noticed it was still there.

Police inspected it, but it was not reported stolen, so Stinson had it towed. On May 8, he realized he had surveillance video of Casey White on camera, and he got into another vehicle, presumably with Vicky White. Stinson told marshals the details.

On May 9, the marshals found the car at a local hotel, and a chase began. The car eventually wrecked, and Casey White was taken in unhurt. Vicky White shot herself, and she was taken to a hospital with “serious” injuries, according to Indiana police. She later died from her injuries.

WHO ARE THEY?

Vicky White lived 18 miles from the Lauderdale County jail, in a house that she sold just days before she disappeared, well under market value.

Vicky White had been with the department for 17 years and according to Sheriff Singleton, had turned in her retirement papers just days before going missing.

Her colleagues at the jail “are in total disbelief and shocked that she has been involved in something like this,” according to the sheriff.

Casey Cole White, 38, had been jailed on a capital murder charge in the Lauderdale County Detention Center. He was facing a possible death penalty under Alabama Law. He has a lengthy rap sheet.

The Marshals Service said Casey is 6 feet, 9 inches tall, and weighs about 260 pounds. He has brown hair, hazel eyes and several tattoos.

WHERE WERE THEY LAST SEEN?

Detectives pieced together evidence from the days before the pair vanished.

Surveillance footage released by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department shows that Vicky White stayed at a hotel in Lauderdale County the night before the pair fled the jail. 

In the days leading up to their disappearance, she had also purchased an orange 2007 Ford Edge allegedly using an alias. That car was parked in a mall parking lot near the hotel.

Authorities say she drove her work vehicle to the Lauderdale County Jail the morning she freed Casey and then switched vehicles after she picked him up.

The United States Marshals Service released a flyer on May 3 with information about the vehicle and the two fugitives.

Singleton told local news agencies it was a mistake by a law enforcement agency to release the flyer which was not ready for the public. He added the early release has hindered their investigation.

According to local news media, the Ford was reported abandoned on the same day the pair went missing, only two hours from the jail they escaped from in Williamson County, Tennessee. It was confirmed to be linked to the case days later.

Reports show they had attempted to spray paint the car at some point.

A second vehicle, this one found abandoned at the Indiana car wash, was being investigated in connection to the manhunt, U.S. Marshals confirmed Monday.

There have been reports Vicky was spotted inside a department store buying men’s clothing. Workers inside told NewsNation’s Brian Entin they could not comment.

Others report seeing Vicky at an adult store in the Florence area before she took off. A woman working inside told Entin that her lawyer advised her not to talk about whether or not Vicky was a customer.

WHAT IS THEIR RELATIONSHIP?

The pair are not related, despite having the same last name.

However, investigators confirmed to NewsNation that the pair shared a “special relationship.”

According to the Alabama sheriff, Vicky White was in phone contact with Casey White in prison many months before their escape.

Singleton previously said that she had visited him while he was serving time at another prison, but corrected his statement saying, that was incorrect and that they were “in contact via phone.”

Authorities believe Casey White and Vicky White had an ongoing relationship for two years.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Casey White will be extradited to Alabama for an arraignment. After 11 days on the run, he will begin his legal defense.

Sheriff Rick Singleton says Casey White will not see the light of day again. Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg told NewsNation that decision is likely up to prison officials.

“It’s up to prison officials whether he will be stuck in solitary for the rest of his time. I think at some point he will get into general just because he’s serving 75 years right now and he’s also facing another trial for a murder-for-hire scheme where he murdered a mother and he faces the death penalty for that. I would be surprised if he ever sees the light of day, but as far as solitary confinement, that’s going to be up to prison officials,” Aronberg said.

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