FLORENCE, Ala. — The Alabama jail honcho who disappeared with a capital murder suspect had visited the inmate numerous times in prison and had been in a “special relationship” with him for nearly two years before the pair vanished, The Post has learned.
Vicky White and inmate Casey Cole White — who apparently fled together on Friday — have been linked since late 2020 when he was brought to the jail guard’s jurisdiction on murder charges, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told The Post on Wednesday.
At the time, Casey had been serving a 75-year sentence at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County for a different case and was transported to Lauderdale County to be arraigned on the new murder charges, Singleton explained in a sit-down interview.
Following the arraignment, Casey was brought back to the prison, about two hours south of Lauderdale County, where Vicky paid him numerous visits and developed a cozy relationship with him, Singleton said.
It’s not immediately clear how the two met when Casey was in Lauderdale County, but as an assistant director of corrections, Vicky’s primary job was to transport inmates.
“What we found out now is that they were in communication from 2020, up until the current day, like communication, visitations and whatnot,” the sheriff explained.
“I’m sure they probably communicated through other means, you know, phone calls or whatever.”
In a brief interview late Tuesday, Casey’s mother, Connie White, was asked about Vicky, and while the mom said she’d never heard of the woman, she did mention her son had a “pen pal” he’d been keeping in touch with.
She also alleged that Casey confessed to the new murder charges, under which he was accused of breaking into 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway’s home and stabbing her to death, because he didn’t like the prison he’d been assigned to and wanted a change of scenery.
“He wrote a letter to say that he murdered that woman. But he didn’t really murder her, he just done that to get back up here,” said Connie.
“He just wanted to be out of that prison because it was so bad and there was no food.”
Casey was transported back to Jefferson County after his arraignment, but on Feb. 25, the alleged killer returned to Lauderdale County to await trial for Ridgeway’s death.
However, before the case could even begin, he escaped Friday morning.
Singleton revealed new details about the well-planned escape and said prior to the pair’s disappearance, Vicky had purchased an apparent getaway vehicle, an orange 2007 Ford Edge, that she stashed at a strip mall parking lot in Florence Square.
Vicky allegedly disguised the conspicuous vehicle in plain sight by parking it within a row of cars that were for sale, Singleton said. On the day of the escape, Vicky ditched her patrol cruiser at that same strip mall and is believed to have taken off in the Ford Edge.
Cops caught wind of the apparent getaway car after a concerned citizen phoned in a tip that he’d seen it at the strip mall Thursday night, just hours before the escape.
“[He] was looking at those cars and he said there was this orange SUV that he was looking at,” Singleton said.
“He went around to get the number because he was interested in it and there was no For Sale sign and no number and he thought that was sort of strange.”
Investigators eventually traced the car back to a Florence car dealership, which has been assisting cops in their probe.
Once images of the car were released in an accidental social media post, the sheriff’s office has been flooded with tips of sightings from Kentucky, Tennessee and all the way to Florida, Singleton said.
“And of course, we’ve checked all of those out and none of them panned out,” Singleton said.
“But you know, one of these days we’re gonna get that call and it’s going to be them.
“The searching we’re doing is based on what leads we get or what tips. We’re not focused on any single area.”
Now that the public has caught wind of the car, Singleton said, he’s concerned the pair will ditch the vehicle and find a new set of wheels.
“We’re assuming they’re probably, if they hadn’t already, gonna get rid of that car and then we’re back to square one as far as knowing what they’re in,” the sheriff explained.
“That’s a big hindrance to this investigation.”