An Alabama correctional officer and escaped inmate were arrested Tuesday after evading police for more than a week. But how did they elude the authorities for so long?
Former prison officer Vicky White, 56, and inmate Casey White, 38, disappeared on April 29, and authorities have since said the couple had a “prison romance” and they were planning their escape. They they were arrested on monday after a police chase and subsequent car crash in Evansville, Indiana, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said.
The couple was likely able to go under the radar for so long because of Vicky White’s more than $90,000 in cash from selling her home a month ago, said Lenny DePaul, former chief inspector and commander of the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Division. of the US Marshals Task Force.
DePaul is not associated with the ongoing investigation.
‘BACK TO THE BEGINNING’: Police find abandoned SUV, but inmate and officer are still missing
Vicky White, who has since been called an accessory by authorities, allegedly told her co-workers that she was taking Casey White to a court date before the couple disappeared. Surveillance footage shows Vicky White escorting Casey White out of the Lauderdale County Detention Center and onto a patrol car, which was found abandoned in a shopping center later that day.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said on friday the discovery of an orange 2007 Ford Edge getaway vehicle about 100 miles from the jail puts investigators “back to square one” as the pair had “a highly calculated plan.”
Singleton said the vehicle had been towed the day the Whites fled jail, but it wasn’t until Thursday that Tennessee authorities realized it was the same car linked to the search.
White purchased the vehicle using an alias, Singleton said. The video also showed her at a Quality Inn a short drive from where she bought the car the night before the escape. The vehicle may have had mechanical problems that “gave them a curve” they hadn’t planned on, Singleton said, but the Whites likely recovered. vicky white it was probably using new false identities as well, he added.
The US Marshals Service said Sunday that investigators located another abandoned vehicle in Evansville, Indianawhich was believed to have been used by whites.
In a news release, officials said they received a tip Sunday night that a 2006 Ford F-150 car had been discovered.
Security camera footage provided by the car wash owner shows a man standing next to the truck who looks like Casey White.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said the vehicle was abandoned on May 3 and said it was unlikely the fugitive was still in the Evansville area., hours before they were captured.
DePaul, who has spent more than 30 years working on fugitive investigations, said investigators are likely to zero in on Vicky White and “tear her world upside down” to try to anticipate the couple’s next steps.
“You become them,” he said of the researchers. “What would be your next move?”
Authorities likely looked at his fingerprint to get an idea of who he’s been in contact with, where he’s visited and what his routines are, he added. Her Internet history and social media connections can also be helpful, DePaul said.
In 2021, the Sheriffs arrested more than 84,000 fugitives on federal, state and local orders, according to the Justice Department. While most aren’t as high-profile, the public attention on the Whites’ case was a good thing, DePaul said, given Casey White’s physical appearance.
At 6 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing about 330 pounds, “he won’t hide in plain sight,” DePaul said.
Vicky White is approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and the Photos released by the Marshals Service comparing the height of the couple side by side. The US Marshals Service also released photos of Vicky White showing what she would look like if her hair was dark.
Casey White, who was serving a 75-year prison sentence on kidnapping and attempted murder charges, was also set to go on trial next month in a capital murder case, which police say he confessed to.
The Marshals Service said Casey White also threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her sister if he ever got out of jail and that he wanted police to kill him.
Given Casey White’s history of violence, Vicky White could also be in danger, DePaul said. Singleton expressed similar concern, calling Casey White “volatile” and saying that he could turn on her at any moment.
Singleton said the Whites had been in a relationship for two years, including visits and after-hours phone calls from Vicky White. Casey White was also given special privileges that other inmates didn’t have, she said.
Contributors: Christine Fernando, N’dea Yancey-Bragg, and Cady Stanton, USA TODAY; Houston Harwood, Evansville Mail and Press; Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vicky White: Money Probably Helped Inmate, Officer Evaded Police for Days