The corrections official Vicky White and the prisoner Casey White fled a detention facility in Lauderdale County, Alabama, on April 29. They were finally captured by authorities on Monday, May 9, in Evansville, Indiana.
In between those 11 days, the guard and the prisoner traveled more than 200 miles through at least four states, with tens of thousands of dollars in cash to pay for clothes, wigs, hotel rooms and several vehicles in an ultimately futile attempt to throw investigators off the chase.
Yet the vehicles also offered police a road map of sorts that showed their movements within those 11 days. And the story in full starts well before their escape, dating back to Casey White’s imprisonment in 2015 and his fortuitous meeting with Vicky White in 2020.
Using information from authorities, the US Marshals Service, court documents and witness accounts, CNN put together a timeline of Vicky White and Casey White’s actions before, during and after the manhunt that ended with the guard dead and the prisoner back behind bars.
In 2015, Casey White carried out a crime spree that included a home invasion, carjacking and a police chase, according to the Marshals Service.
In March 2016, he was indicted on 15 counts, and he was convicted on seven of those counts in 2019, including attempted murder and robbery, according to Alabama records. He was sentenced to serve 75 years in prison.
While serving out his sentence at the William E. Donaldson Correction Facility in Jefferson County, Alabama, Casey White allegedly confessed in 2020 to the 2015 stabbing death of 59-year-old Connie Ridgeway in Lauderdale County.
He was charged with two counts of capital murder in her death. He was brought to the Lauderdale County’s detention center to be arraigned in the case in October 2020 and pleaded not guilty, officials said.
At the jail, he came into contact with Vicky White, who was working as the assistant director of corrections for Lauderdale County, officials said.
Authorities also learned Casey White planned to escape the jail and take a hostage, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said.
“We shook him down, and we did find a shank in his possession – a shank is a prison knife – and we retrieved that,” the sheriff said. “We immediately had him shipped back to the Department of Corrections.”
Casey and Vicky White remained in touch via phone over the next two years, Singleton said.
February 25, 2022
Casey White, 38, was brought back to the Lauderdale detention center on February 25 for further court hearings in the murder case.
He and Vicky White, a 56-year-old widow with no children, formed a “special relationship,” the sheriff said, including extra food and special privileges.
The weeks before the escape
After years as an “exemplary” employee at the detention facility, Vicky White announced plans to retire on April 29, although the retirement fund paperwork had not yet been processed.
She sold her home on April 18 for $95,550, documents show. That total was well below the expected market value of $235,600, according to online records with Lauderdale County.
She had been living with her mother, Pat Davis, for about five weeks, Davis told CNN affiliate WAAY.
Sheriff Singleton said it was his understating that Vicky White took out money from a number of banks in the weeks before the escape. She went shopping for men’s clothes at a local department store and shopped in an adult store, Singleton said.
She also purchased an orange 2007 Ford Edge vehicle, allegedly using a false name.
Vicky White stayed at a Quality Inn hotel in Florence, Alabama, on the night of April 28, video shows.
She positioned the orange Ford Edge at a parking lot about 10 minutes from the detention center.
Jail policy established that inmates are always accompanied by two deputies.
But at about 9:30 a.m., Vicky White told another deputy that she planned to take Casey White to a mental health evaluation in court and then would seek medical attention because she wasn’t feeling well, according to Singleton. In fact, there was no evaluation or hearing scheduled that day.
Vicky White then led Casey White, wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles, into a patrol car and drove away, surveillance video shows.
Florence City Council Member Bill Griffin was out shooting a commercial for his council district and saw Vicky White drive past him with Casey White in the back seat. Griffin knew White and waved at her, and she waved back at him twice before continuing on their way.
She drove the patrol car from the detention center to a nearby shopping center parking lot and left the vehicle there. They then got into the Ford Edge that had been positioned there the night earlier and drove away.
The patrol car was found abandoned in the parking lot at about 11 a.m. by someone on a lunch break, Singleton said.
Officers at the jail became concerned and tried to reach her, but her phone kept going straight to voicemail. They then realized Casey White had not been returned to the jail, he said.
The Ford Edge was found locked and abandoned in the middle of the road in Williamson County, Tennessee, about a two-hour drive north of Lauderdale County. Unaware of its origin, tow truck driver Robert Kimes transported the vehicle to a local tow lot.
At about 3:30 p.m., officials realized Vicky and Casey White were missing. The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office put out an alert on their Facebook page just before 6 p.m.
The US Marshals Service offered up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of Casey White. Vicky White was described as “missing and endangered,” the agency said.
A warrant was issued for Vicky White, charging her with permitting or facilitating an escape in the first degree, Singleton announced.
He said that video of the two shows Vicky White drove the patrol car straight from the detention center to the parking lot, making no stops in between, indicating that there was planning involved.
Singleton told CNN that Vicky White and Casey White had a “special relationship” in which the prisoner received extra food and other privileges, citing information from other prisoners.
The Marshals Service released images of the orange Ford Edge that the fugitives were last seen driving. Casey White was described as 6-foot-9 and about 330 pounds, and Vicky White was described as 5-foot-5 and about 145 pounds. The marshals also add a $5,000 reward for information leading to Vicky White’s capture.
“The subjects should be considered dangerous and may be armed with an AR-15 rifle and a shotgun,” the marshals said.
Casey White and Vicky White drove in a Ford F-150 to a car wash in Evansville, Indiana – about 175 miles north of Williamson County, Tennessee, their last known location – and left the car on the premises. They switched into a Cadillac vehicle and drove away from the car wash, authorities said.
Local police were called to the Evansville car wash about the abandoned Ford F-150. The vehicle was towed away from the premises.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office announced that Vicky White is no longer employed.
The US Marshals Service released further images of the orange Ford Edge the fugitives were believed to be driving, noting damage to the left rear.
The service also released photos of Casey White showing his tattoos, some of which it said are affiliated with the Alabama-based White supremacist prison gang Southern Brotherhood. A tattoo on his back depicts a Confederate flag with the words “Southern Pride,” and a tattoo on his chest depicts a shield emblazoned with the letters “SB,” a Nazi swastika and the letters “SS” in the lightning-bolt style of the infamous Nazi paramilitary group.
Kimes, the Tennessee tow truck driver, read a local news story about the Ford Edge and recognized it as the car he towed nearly a week earlier, he said. He texted his boss at about 9:30 p.m., and his boss alerted Williamson County Sheriff’s Office of the possible connection.
At about 11 p.m., US marshals found the Ford Edge in the Williamson County tow lot and confirm it was the one used by Vicky White and Casey White. Parts of the vehicle, including the damaged left rear, appear to be spray painted.
A warrant for Vicky White’s arrest is issued on May 6 accusing her of second-degree forgery and identity theft. The charges stem from her alleged use of an alias to purchase the Ford Edge, officials said.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced rewards of $5,000 each for information leading to apprehensions and arrests in the case.
Investigators were notified about the Ford F-150 abandoned at the car wash and its possible connection to the fugitives, according to the Marshals Service.
US Marshals release images dated May 3 from the Evansville car wash surveillance camera of a man believed to be Casey White and the Ford F-150.
The car wash surveillance video showed the suspects leaving the Ford F-150 and getting into a Cadillac vehicle, according to Vanderburgh County, Indiana, Sheriff Dave Wedding.
An Evansville Police officer spotted the Cadillac vehicle at a Motel 41 and alerted other investigators. They began surveillance of the motel and observed Vicky and Casey White exiting the motel and getting into the Cadillac.
Police began to pursue the vehicle and the fugitives fled north on US Highway 41 in the Cadillac. In the pursuit, Casey White and Vicky White drove onto a grassy field and parking lot near Anchor Industries. A law enforcement officer rammed a vehicle into the car, flipping it onto its side in a ditch.
Officers reached the duo in the car. They took Casey White into custody and found Vicky White with a gunshot wound to the head in what investigators believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
She died in a hospital that night from her injuries. The Indiana coroner’s office ruled her death a suicide.
During his arrest, Casey White referred to Vicky White as his “wife” and said he did not shoot her. They were not believed to be married.
Investigators found four handguns, a semiautomatic rifle, three magazines, wigs and about $29,000 cash in their vehicle, according to Wedding. Casey White spoke for a lengthy period with investigators and said that they had planned to have a shootout with police.
The fugitives had been staying at the Motel 41 in an attempt to lay low for a while and had paid for a 14-day stay, according to Wedding.
Casey White appeared virtually in court from the Vanderburgh County jail and waived his extradition hearing.
“I want to go back to Alabama,” he said.
He was taken back to the Lauderdale County courthouse for an arraignment on an added charge of escape in the first degree. Immediately after the hearing, White exited the courthouse and glanced at the news cameras and the crowd of bystanders who had gathered, but didn’t say anything.
He was then transferred to the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama – the same prison he had been staying at the start of 2022.
CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Chuck Johnston, Nadia Romero, Jaide Timm-Garcia, Michelle Watson and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.