Casey White tipster getting reward — from GoFundMe campaign

Midwest

(NewsNation) — The car wash manager who flagged the truck belonging to a fugitive couple from Alabama to local police will get a monetary reward, but it may not come from the source many would expect.

Hours before investigators caught up with the escaped couple, James Stinson provided the U.S. Marshals Service with video of them at the car wash he manages. But more than a week after the manhunt ended, Stinson has not gotten any reward money.

The owner of a GoFundMe set to benefit the family of Casey White’s alleged victim will give the money instead to Stinson — all with the family’s blessing.

Casey White broke out of jail while he was waiting to be tried for the 2015 murder of Connie Ridgeway. On April 29, investigators say corrections officer Vicky White, who is not related to Casey, helped him escape and the two ran away together.

Stinson told Evansville, Indiana police about a truck that was left in one of his car wash bays overnight. He had a hunch it might belong to escaped Alabama inmate Casey White and corrections officer Vicky White, who had been on the run for less than a week at that point.

An officer inspected the car May 4, but it wasn’t reported stolen and hadn’t been flagged. So, Stinson had it towed.

On May 8, the U.S. Marshals Service contacted him and told him his hunch was right. The next day, Stinson showed them security video of Casey White getting into a Cadillac driven by a woman presumed to be Vicky White.

Later that day, USMS found the car at a hotel, and chased the couple until they crashed. Casey White was arrested, but Vicky White died by suicide.

Earlier this month, USMS announced a $10,000 award for information leading to Casey White’s arrest, with an additional $5,000 for Vicky White. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s office also offered a $10,000 reward for the couple. So far, Stinson has gotten no indication he’s in line for any of it.

USMS told NewsNation it was still investigating the steps that led to Casey White’s capture.

“We generally define a “tip” as information received from the public, not a law enforcement or government source, that was provided proactively or intentionally and in relation to an active investigation.  Information received passively (unintentionally or unrelated to an actual fugitive investigation) by the public, or from another agency, is not considered a tip. USMS must determine if one tip, or multiple tips, led to an actual arrest. When determining if a tipster gets compensated by reward (in full or partially), USMS considers if the tip provided actionable information to the investigation and whether the tip led to the actual arrest.”

USMS Statement to newsnation

Ivey’s office has not responded to NewsNation’s request for comment.

Money doesn’t seem to move the 67-year-old grandfather of three, however. When talking on NewsNation’s “Banfield” last week, Stinson maintained that, while helpful, the reward is not on his radar. 

“I’m not so much concerned about the money, I’m just glad nobody else got hurt,” he said.  

But radio host Mark White, who started the GoFundMe page, which has raised $3,800 so far, feels differently.

“We’ve decided to try to go all the way with this effort. We’re not waiting around to see if Mr. Stinson receives reward money elsewhere,” the GoFundMe says. “We’re going to do it right here, right now.”

Austin Williams, the son of Casey White’s alleged victim, Connie Ridgeway, said Stinson’s actions impressed him.

“I feel like he’s a very, very deserving person,” Williams said.

After an initial goal of $1,000, Williams and White hope they can reach $25,000.

“The support has just been so refreshing and it makes it just a little bit easier to go through all this, seeing all the good people out there,” Williams said.

He also believes his mother would be happy with the decision.

“I think she’s glad this is coming to an end and going to trial soon,” Williams said.

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