Alabama corrections officer Vicky White and escaped capital murder suspect Casey Cole White were captured Monday after a 10-day manhunt, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said. Both were arrested in Indiana and Casey White was returned to custody, Singleton said.
casey white he surrendered without incident, Singleton said at a news conference. The US Marshals Service confirmed to CBS News that authorities believe Vicky suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. She has been hospitalized and her condition is still unclear.
The capture came after a citizen tip led authorities to Evansville, Indiana, more than 200 miles from where they initially disappeared, Singleton said. Two law enforcement sources told CBS News Senior Investigative Producer Pat Milton that investigators had “developed information” that they were potentially driving an older model Cadillac not far from a car wash where a Ford F-1 had been abandoned. 150. The Ford F-150 was reported stolen in Tennessee, which is where authorities found the vehicle the couple was known to be driving most recently, the sources said.
The US Marshals Service found the Cadillac at a hotel and set up surveillance, the sources said. The couple was then seen leaving the hotel and getting into the vehicle, with Casey White driving and Vicky White in the passenger seat. A pursuit was secured when they refused to stop, ending when the car flipped into a ditch.
A law enforcement source told CBS News that when investigators took Casey White into custody, he said, “She shot herself. I didn’t do it.”
Singleton said the pair will be extradited to Alabama and jailed separately, with Casey White quickly processed in Lauderdale County before being transferred to the Department of Corrections. He said that Vicky White will not be detained in the same facility where she used to work.
“Today we took a very dangerous man off the streets,” Singleton said. “And he will never see the light of day again.”
The news comes more than a week after the couple’s disappearance on April 29. Vicky White told her colleagues that morning that she was taking Casey White to court for a mental health evaluation, authorities said. But her patrol vehicle was found in a parking lot hours later, and by 3:30 pm, officers realized that both she and Casey White were missing.
Authorities later said a mental health evaluation had not been scheduled, adding that it appears Vicky White, who was supposed to retire at the end of the day, drove her squad car into the parking lot where she was found immediately after leaving the courthouse. with Casey White.
Singleton said the couple had a “special relationship” and that they were in contact by phone for months before Casey White’s escape. Singleton said there is currently no evidence the relationship was physical or sexual.
He also said that the runaway incident showed him that it’s hard to know who you can trust.
“You know, I had all my trust in Vicky White. She’s been an exemplary employee,” he said. “And what in the world caused or prompted her to do something like this, I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll ever know.”
Vicky White had initially been charged with allowing or facilitating flight in the first degree, and was also paid on monday with second-degree forgery and identity theft for allegedly using an alias to obtain a getaway vehicle: a Ford Edge that had been located “in the middle of nowhere” in Tennessee and towed away by local authorities at approximately 2 p.m. of the day the couple first ran away.
Before they were taken into custody Monday, the US Marshals Service said investigators had traveled to Evansville, Indiana, after receiving a tip.
The US Marshals Service said it had been told that a 2006 Ford F-150, a car the couple was believed to have been using, had been found at an Evansville car wash. Surveillance camera footage shows a man standing near the car wearing a hat, sunglasses, a pink shirt and tan pants, although the Marshals Service did not definitively identify the man as Casey White.
Casey White was originally being held in jail on capital murder charges in the 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway. Singleton said Monday that when White finally returns to Lauderdale County to stand trial, he will make sure he is alone in a cell with a higher level of protection.
“He’s going to be handcuffed and shackled while he’s in that cell,” Singleton said. “And if he wants to sue me for violating his civil rights, so be it. He won’t get out of this jail again, I assure you.”
Matthew Mosk contributed reporting. This story has been updated with additional police details.