Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated which vehicle Vicky White’s jail keys, radio and handcuffs were found inside. It was her patrol car.
In their search for a missing former corrections official and an inmate facing murder charges, authorities announced a key discovery Friday: they located the car they previously believed the pair was traveling in.
The car had been in a Tennessee tow lot for about a week, after local officials found it abandoned in the woods and without any identifying information last Friday – the same day the pair went missing – and had it towed.
It means the two drove roughly two hours north to Williamson County, Tennessee, after disappearing from a county jail in Florence, Alabama, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said during a Friday news conference.
But authorities know little about what came after that.
“We know now where the car is, we know what direction they went,” the sheriff said. “We’re trying to canvass the area for any witnesses, also trying to research, see if any stolen vehicles were reported in that area during that time.”
Authorities believe the vehicle may have had mechanical problems which prompted the abrupt stop in the area. But the sheriff said investigators don’t yet know if the pair stole another vehicle, or got a ride with someone else and where they may have headed.
“We’re sort of back to square one,” he said. “After Friday afternoon, when they abandoned that car, which direction they went from there, we don’t know.”
Vicky White, 56, and Casey White, 38, have now been missing for more than a week. The two, who officials say may have had a romantic relationship, are not related.
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Vicky White, who was an assistant director of corrections for Lauderdale County, took Casey White from the county jail Friday morning, saying she was taking him for a mental health evaluation. She said she was going to get medical care after dropping the inmate off because she wasn’t feeling well.
The two have not been seen since. The patrol car the officer and inmate took from the jail was found abandoned in a shopping center parking lot. Vicky White’s jail keys, radio and handcuffs were found inside. Authorities believe the pair left the lot in a different vehicle: the 2007 Ford SUV Vicky White bought and parked there the night before, Singleton previously said.
The pair knew each other since at least 2020 and had developed a romantic relationship, the sheriff told CNN earlier this week.
Prior to their disappearance, Vicky White had announced plans to retire and sold her home for a price well below market value.
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She now has an active arrest warrant for allegedly permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree. She is no longer employed by the sheriff’s office, the office said, adding while Friday was her last day of work, her papers were never finalized.
What we know about Vicky White
Investigators believe Vicky White had a large amount of money when the pair vanished, Singleton said Friday, adding authorities are working to find out more details.
“Her knowledge of corrections and her knowledge of the procedures that we use here at the sheriff’s office most definitely played to her advantage. I think this was a very well-thought-out plan,” Singleton said during Friday’s news conference.
“Her knowledge sort of put us … at a loss,” the sheriff added. “It’s a very calculated plan.”
Vicky White also has used aliases, the sheriff added, including for purchasing the vehicle. “I’m assuming she’s probably ditched those aliases and probably got some new identities now.”
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The pair should be considered dangerous and may be armed with weapons including an AR-15 rifle, handguns and a shotgun, the US Marshals Service said.
The agency said Casey White threatened his ex-girlfriend and her sister in 2015 if he ever got out, “he would kill them and he wanted police to kill him.” Authorities have warned the inmate’s “potential targets” and taken measures to protect them, the Marshals Service said.
The service also released several photos of Casey White and his tattoos as well as photo renderings of what Vicky White, who was blonde when she vanished, would look like with darker and shorter hair.
The agency is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of the inmate and up to $5,000 for the officer.
On Friday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced additional rewards of $5,000 each for information leading to the capture and arrest of Vicky White and Casey White.
When asked Friday what he would say to Vicky White if she could hear him, the sheriff said, “You know we’re going to find you. Hopefully we find you safe.”
“If you’re safe right now, still safe, get out while you can and turn yourself in to local authorities, wherever you’re at,” Singleton said.