Authorities issued a warrant on Monday for a female correctional officer in Alabama who disappeared together with a man jailed on a capital murder charge.
Vicky White is accused of “permitting or facilitating” the escape of 38-year-old Casey Cole White, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said during a Monday news conference.
The 56-year-old assistant director of corrections was last seen leaving the Lauderdale County Detention Center on April 29 to bring White for a mental health evaluation at a nearby courthouse, the sheriff’s office said. The two then disappeared and authorities later found that there was no evaluation scheduled that day.
The employee and inmate—who share the same last name—are not related.
Police said White is “an extremely dangerous person” and anyone who sees him is urged to call 911 and not approach. He was scheduled for a trial next month on a capital murder charge and is 6 foot 0.9 inches tall.
“You shouldn’t try to approach either one of these individuals. We consider both of them dangerous. And in all probability, both individuals are armed,” U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said.
Singleton said Vicky has been an “exemplary employee” and had worked at the department for 16 years. She filed for retirement the day before she broke protocol and all her colleagues are devastated that she is now believed to be involved in White’s escape.
Vicky violated protocol the day she removed the inmate from the detention center by herself to bring him for a “mental health evaluation” at a nearby courthouse. The policy required White to be escorted by two sworn deputies.
“This is not the Vicki White we know by any stretch of the imagination,” Singleton said, adding that her colleagues are “concerned for her, concerned for her safety.”
A patrol vehicle the duo took from the jail early on April 29 was found abandoned at a nearby shopping center’s parking lot. According to video evidence obtained from the car, there was not enough time for Vicky to try and reach the courthouse and it now appears she acted of her own free will.
“What that tells us is that the patrol car left the detention center and went straight to the parking lot,” Singleton told CNN in an interview. “I guess we’re trying to hold on to that last straw of hope that maybe for some reason she was threatened and did this under coercion.”
Vicky also told co-workers she had a doctor’s appointment scheduled, which was confirmed but the office said the deputy never showed. Officials said no one realized the two were missing until about six hours after they left the jail. Deputies tried to contact Vicky but her phone repeatedly went to voicemail.
Singleton said officials are “aggressively investigating” the incident and are also looking into previous interactions between the two to “see if something else was going on.”
The U.S. Marshals Service said on May 1 that it is offering up to $10,000 for information about the escaped inmate and “missing” correctional officer.
The Marshals Service said people with information about Casey White’s location or Vicky White’s disappearance can call the service at 1-800-336-0102. Anonymous tips may also be submitted through the U.S. Marshals Tip App.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.