Alabama jailer Vicky White died of a single gunshot wound to the head hours after she and escapee Casey White were captured by law enforcement officers in Indiana.
The nationwide manhunt came to a dramatic end when Casey White, 38, surrendered and Vicky White, 56, was taken to hospital, where she later died, when they were finally tracked down after 10 days on the run.
Their escape from the Lauderdale County Detention Center, without a trace, resulted in a total reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest of the two and issuing a warning of a “serious threat” to the public. .
The US Marshals Service finally detained the pair Monday after receiving a tip about their Indiana location late Sunday night, officials said.
When officers arrived at the motel where the couple were staying, they saw the fugitives take off and drive off in their Cadillac.
A brief chase began before officers rammed into the couple’s car, forcing it into a ditch.
When officers approached the vehicle, they said they heard a single gunshot.
Mrs. White was found with a gunshot wound to the head. She was taken to Evansville Deaconess Midtown Hospital, where she later died.
The coroner has since labeled her death a suicide.
Here’s what we know about the case so far:
The couple, who share the same last name but are unrelated, began their flight on April 29 after Ms. White said she was taking the inmate for a mental health evaluation to get him out of jail.
She said she would be leaving to receive medical care after dropping the inmate at the courthouse because she was not feeling well.
Authorities later found that no evaluation or hearing was scheduled for the inmate and Ms. White never made it to where she was supposed to receive medical care, according to Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton.
Ms. White’s 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car was found abandoned around 11 a.m. that morning in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center, the sheriff said.
But the alarm was not sounded until about 3:30 p.m. a few hours later, when Ms White’s colleagues began to worry that she hadn’t returned and were unable to reach her by phone.
Investigators then learned from inmates at the Lauderdale County Detention Center and other sources that the couple had had a romance in prison for the past two years.
Ms. White had also recently sold her house and filed for retirement just days before the couple disappeared.
Ms White’s mother said her daughter had sold her house and moved in with her, but said nothing about her plans to retire.
She took $90,000 in cash from the sale and used some of it to buy a 2007 Ford Edge — the couple’s first getaway car.
She also stocked up on firearms, according to US Marshals, also bought men’s clothing and frequented a sex shop.
The sheriff’s office issued a warrant for Ms. White’s arrest for “permitting or facilitating first-degree escape.”
Hours before the arrest, additional charges of second-degree forgery and identity theft were brought against her.
Officials assumed White was armed with the correction officer’s 9mm pistol and urged the public not to approach the “extremely dangerous” escape, but to call 911 for any sightings.
Time on the run
After putting her patrol car on the water, the couple transferred to the Ford Edge close to the mall.
But a few hours later, they abandoned the vehicle in rural Tennessee.
The Ford Edge was later found on April 29, but was not directly associated with the fugitives and was taken to a tow truck.
The couple used cash to buy a Ford F-150 pickup truck from a local man in Tennessee and drove to Evansville, where they left that car at a local car wash and switched cars for the third and final time in the Cadillac that was later involved. in the police pursuit.
On May 3, the couple paid a homeless man to check them in at Motel 41 in Evansville, Indiana, for a 14-night stay.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said the whites were “just trying to find a place to hide and lay down”.
How the catch unfolded
The net closed on the pair after surveillance footage captured White last Tuesday at an Evansville car wash — where one of the getaway cars was also left behind.
But according to the car wash owner, authorities did not act on his tip about the vehicle for nearly a week while the fugitives took refuge in a motel opposite the local sheriff’s office.
Evansville police have shared footage of the aftermath of the car accident, which shows the moment White was captured and Ms White was pulled from their vehicle with a gun in her hand.
Dashcam footage shows a patrol car racing to the grassy bank where the couple’s Cadillac was rammed off the road after a brief chase by law enforcement officers.
A group of officers is already on the scene and they can be seen pulling the six-foot-tall fugitive away from the car and pushing him to the ground.
White is handcuffed and held there for a few moments before the officers pull him to his feet and lead him away.
Dressed in black pants, a white t-shirt with a blue shirt open over the top and dark sunglasses, the 38-year-old is seen looking behind him in the direction of the car where his loved one is trapped.
The Cadillac is seen lying on its side in a ditch by the side of the road with other officers around and no sign of Mrs. White.
Separate bodycam footage shows Ms White’s limp body being pulled from the vehicle, gun still in hand.
White allegedly denied shooting the prosecutor and told police: “You help my wife, she shot herself in the head and I didn’t do it.” Despite his use of the term “woman,” authorities say they were not married.
Audio of a 911 call placed during the police chase also emerged in which Ms White was heard saying “let’s get out and run” seconds before the crash.
After his arrest, White told officers the couple planned to have a gunfight with police.
Inside the car was a treasure trove of firearms, approximately $29,000 in cash and various colored wigs as disguises.
What we know about Vicky White
Ms White, 56, spent her entire life in the close-knit community of Lauderdale County and landed a job with the local police force in 2006 when a position opened up and she applied.
Over the next 17 years, she rose through the ranks to become assistant director of the Lauderdale County Detention Center and was looked up to by her peers.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly, who has worked closely with her for the past 17 years, shared: the independent that she was a “permanent employee”.
“She wasn’t a big talker, but she was professional at her job and did a good job. That’s why she was so respected and trusted,” he said.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton also described her as an “exemplary employee” who had won the “Employee of the Year” award five times in the past eight years.
Ms White was supposed to be honored at this year’s ceremony this week, but it has now been postponed.
She once married a man named Tommy White. The couple, who had no children, divorced in 2006 after about five years due to Tommy’s problems with alcohol and drug addiction.
However, Tommy’s mother Frances White shared: the independent that Mrs. White had remained close to her and her son long after their divorce.
She said the former spouses were friends until his death at age 62 from Parkinson’s disease in January – three months before the prison break.
What we know about Casey White
The 38-year-old inmate has a long criminal record dating back two decades to when he was arrested in 2006 for a domestic violence incident involving his own mother.
Four years later, in 2010, he pleaded guilty to assaulting a male relative with an ax handle and was sentenced to six years in prison.
At the time of his escape from prison, he was serving a 75-year sentence for a 2015 crime series that involved killing his ex-girlfriend, holding victims at gunpoint and shooting a dog.
In the same year, he is also alleged to have murdered a 58-year-old mother of two for money.
Connie Ridgeway was found dead in her Rogersville, Alabama apartment on October 23, 2015.
The case remained unsolved for five years until White sent a letter to the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office confessing to the crime and charging him with two counts of capital murder.
He was awaiting trial for the murder when he fled with Mrs. White.
In the 10 days the pair were off, officials warned that White was considered armed and dangerous.
He attempted to escape prison earlier in 2020, officials said, but his plot was thwarted.
Alabama officials have now reopened an investigation into the 2008 shooting of another friend, who was believed to be a suicide at the time.
White is now back behind bars in a maximum-security prison in Alabama after he waived his extradition right on Tuesday.
He appeared in Lauderdale County court on Tuesday night, where he was charged with first-degree escape.
DA Connolly told The Independent he could face additional charges during the prison break and did not rule out filing charges over Ms White’s death.
White’s trial for the capital murder of Mrs. Ridgeway is expected to begin in June.
If convicted, he risks the death penalty.
Ms. White’s funeral will be held Saturday in Lexington, Alabama, in the presence of some of her former colleagues.