After an inmate charged with murder and a corrections office director left an Alabama prison for a supposed mental health evaluation at the county courthouse on Friday, they later both disappeared and the officer is suspected of aiding his escape.

Vicky White, the assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Detention Center, was supposed to retire this Friday after two decades as an “exemplary employee.” She is now facing a warrant from the Sheriff’s office for charges of permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree for her role in leaving the prison along with inmate Casey White, who is serving a combined sentence of 75 years and faces a capital murder trial.

Vicky White left the jail with Casey White alone after telling guards he was scheduled for a mental health evaluation. Transporting an inmate without two deputies is a breach of protocol but staff overlooked it as she was a senior employee. Security footage later revealed that Vicky drove the patrol car into a parking lot eight minutes after leaving the detention center when they abandoned the vehicle.

“I’d be surprised if they were still in Alabama,” said Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton. “If she did this willingly, and all indications are that she did. I guess we’re trying to hold onto that last straw of hope that maybe for some reason she was threatened and did this under coercion.”

Singleton also stated that there is “no evidence or proof” yet that the two had a romantic relationship, but they are investigating it as a possibility. He did note that her position meant that she “was frequently throughout the cell blocks, has contact with all the inmates at one time or another.”

Casey White had planned an escape in 2020, but his attempt was discovered by detention center staff. Singleton said White had “nothing to lose” and noted that Vicky White is “definitely in danger, willingly or not. This guy’s not one to mess with.”

Witnesses are advised not to approach either suspect as they are both potentially armed and considered dangerous by investigators. People who see either of them should call the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s office at (256) 760-5757 or submit tips to the U.S. Marshals at (800) 336-0102.

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