(NewsNation) — An urgent manhunt is underway for an escaped Alabama inmate and a missing corrections officer. The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of the inmate previously jailed for capital murder and the location of the “missing and endangered” officer.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said on social media Saturday that Assistant Director of Corrections Vicky White disappeared Friday while escorting inmate Casey White from the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama, about 75 miles west of Huntsville.
According to the post, White left the detention center with inmate White on Friday morning and neither has been seen since. The pair are not related.
The missing inmate, 38, had been jailed on a capital murder charge.
“Casey White is believed to be a serious threat to the corrections officer and the public,” Marty Keely, the U.S. marshal for northern Alabama, said in a statement on Sunday.
Vicky White has been with the department 16 years. At a news conference Friday, Singleton said she was headed to the courthouse for what Vicky White said was a mental health evaluation for Casey White. She 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,” Singleton said.
Singleton also said there was no mental health evaluation for the inmate scheduled at the courthouse.
The vehicle they were traveling in when they left the detention center was later discovered at a nearby shopping center parking lot, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Marshals Service said Casey White is 6 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs about 260 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.
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.
According to local news outlets, Singleton said Vicky White had turned in her retirement papers the day before she went missing.
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.”
Anyone with information is urged to submit tips at 800-336-0102
The Associated Press contributed to this report.