Authorities in Tennessee say they have located an abandoned vehicle used by a man wanted in Alabama for murder and the jail official who disappeared with him.
Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said via Twitter on Friday that a vehicle used by escaped Alabama inmate Casey White and former Correctional Officer Vicky White was found in Bethesda.
“There is NO sign the two are still in our area. The SUV was reported abandoned a week ago. It was identified last night,” the tweet said.
A nationwide manhunt has been ongoing since the pair disappeared April 29. Casey White was awaiting trial in a capital murder case. Vicky White was assistant director of corrections for the jail in Lauderdale County, Alabama. She appears to have helped him plan his escape.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said at a press conference Friday that the car was found on a rural roadside off Interstate 65 and towed on the day of the escape, but authorities in Tennessee didn’t initially realize until Thursday it was the same vehicle sought in the escape. Authorities are now trying to determine whether any vehicles had been reported missing in the area, he said.
“We’re sort of back to square one with a vehicle description,” said Singleton.
The two likely had mechanical problems with the car and left it where it was found in a remote area, said Singleton. He said it appeared the two had a “jailhouse romance” before the escape, he said. But he was worried for the safety of his former employee because White is “volatile” and could turn on her at any time.
No weapons were found in the car, indicating that the two are still armed, said Singleton.
“My gut is telling me they are obviously on the run,” he said.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that the two, who aren’t related, are “regarded as extremely dangerous,” and the U.S. Marshals Service has taken over leading the search.
Garland said they should be considered armed and dangerous and that anyone who spots them should not approach them.
“They worked together in designing this plan to escape,” said U.S. Marshal Marty Keely.
Last Friday, Vicky White, 56, told her coworkers that the 38-year-old inmate needed to go to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation. She was escorting the inmate alone — a violation of the sheriff’s office policy. When she did not answer her phone or return in the afternoon, authorities realized the pair had gone missing. Authorities eventually learned that the evaluation was never scheduled and was just a charade to allow Vicky White to sneak Casey White out of the jail without suspicion.
The two left in a patrol car, which was found abandoned nearby in a parking lot where investigators believe Vicky White had parked a getaway car.
In the past week, authorities have learned that Vicky White purchased an array of weapons, including an AR-15 rifle in January and a shotgun two weeks before the scape. They also believe she has a 9 mm handgun with her and have received reports she may also have a .45 caliber handgun, Keely said.
Federal investigators believe they had been planning the escape for at least several months. The Marshals Service and the sheriff’s office have interviewed a slew of associates, family members and others who knew the both Casey White and Vicky White and have received numerous tips in the investigation. But despite their best efforts, investigators have not come up with any solid leads to locate them.
The Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 reward for information leading to Casey White’s capture and a $5,000 reward for information leading to Vicky White.
Authorities have said Casey White, who stands 6 feet, 9 inches (about 2 meters), should be recognizable by his size.
Casey White was being held at the jail on capital murder charges in the 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway. He confessed to the slaying in 2020 while in state prison for other crimes. He’s been linked to home invasions, carjackings and was also involved in a police chase, Keely said.
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