Fugitive Alabama prison official dies after police capture her and an inmate she helped escape

A former Alabama prison official died after taking his own life when she and the murder suspect she was accused of helping to escape were captured in Indiana on Monday after more than a week on the run, officials said.

The capture ended the tri-state manhunt, but did not solve the mystery of why Vicky White, 56, a respected prison official, would help Casey White, 38, a hulking inmate with a violent and frightening story. The two were unrelated.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said the two fugitives were arrested near Evansville, Indiana, after U.S. Marshals chased the whites’ van.

Casey White surrendered and Vicky White was taken to hospital after taking her own life, authorities said. Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear said the jail official died of his injuries.

“We took a dangerous man off the streets today. He will never see the light of day again. It’s a good thing, not just for our community. It’s a good thing for our country,” said Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton. Alabama said.

WATCH | The moment of escape:

Security video shows inmate escape

Footage provided by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama shows Deputy Director of Corrections Vicky White walking inmate Casey White, a murder suspect and no connection to Vicky, to the jail gate. The couple were picked up in Indiana on Monday, having been free since April 29. 0:42

In Indiana, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said officials learned their vehicle was near the sheriff’s office. When officers arrived, Casey and Vicky White fled in the vehicle and led police on a chase, he said. U.S. marshals collided with them “in an attempt to end the pursuit,” he said. Casey White was injured, not too seriously, in the ensuing accident and Vicky White later took her own life, causing “very serious” injuries, he said.

“We are fortunate that no law enforcement personnel were injured, no innocent civilians were harmed. The pursuit was short-lived and we have both individuals in custody,” Wedding said.

Nationwide manhunt

The two had been the target of a nationwide manhunt since April 29 when Vicky White, Deputy Director of Corrections at the Lauderdale County Jail, allegedly helped organize the escape of Casey White, who was awaiting trial in a capital murder case. Vicky White had told colleagues she was taking the inmate from jail for a mental health assessment at the courthouse, but the two fled the area instead.

Casey White was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder and other charges at the time of his escape.

The truck was found Monday in Evansville, Indiana, after U.S. Marshals received a tip on Sunday that the 2006 Ford F-150 pickup was seen at a car wash in the city, the official said. Marshals Service. Surveillance photos showed a man who closely resembles Casey White exiting the vehicle at the car wash, officials said.

Pair had a special relationship, inmates say

Investigators believe the van was stolen in Tennessee and then traveled about 280 miles to Evansville, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official could not publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Ahead of news of his death, the Alabama sheriff said he hoped to get answers from his once-trusted prison worker about his actions, but acknowledged those answers may not come. “I had complete faith in Vicky White. She’s been an exemplary employee. What provoked her, prompted her to do a stunt like this? I don’t know.” said Singleton.

Family members and colleagues of Vicky White said they were stunned by her involvement. Singleton had said that, in retrospect, it looked like the plan had been in the works for some time. Prison inmates said the two had a special relationship and she treated Casey White better than the other inmates.

In recent months, she has purchased a rifle and shotgun and was also known to have a handgun, U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said. She had recently sold her home and bought what would become the getaway car that authorities later found abandoned in Tennessee.

“This escape was obviously well planned and calculated. A lot of preparation went into it. They had a lot of resources, had money, had vehicles,” Singleton said.

The Marshals Service said a warrant was issued May 2 for Vicky Sue White charging her with enabling or facilitating a first-degree escape.

Federal and local law enforcement officials also learned that Casey White threatened to kill his former girlfriend and sister in 2015 and said ‘he wanted the police to kill him,’ the Marshals Service said. . Investigators said they have been in contact with them about the threats and are taking steps to ensure their safety.