Alabama Sheriff’s Office Issues Alert After Detainee and Correction Officer Disappear

A sheriff’s office in Alabama issued an alert Friday night after an inmate and the assistant director of corrections went missing earlier in the day. Authorities said the detainee, who was being held on a murder charge, should be considered “armed and extremely dangerous”.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told reporters Friday night that Vicki White, a 25-year veteran of the department, left the local detention center with Casey Cole White at 9:41 am. to court for a mental health assessment and then would seek medical attention because she was not feeling well. Despite having the same last name, the two are not related.

Shortly after 11 am, someone found his patrol vehicle in a shopping mall parking lot. At 3:30 pm, authorities learned that no one had been able to contact her and that the detainee had not been returned to custody.

Singleton said that after speaking with the court, officials confirmed that there was no mental health assessment scheduled. He also said his decision to take the prisoner to court alone was “a strict violation of policy” as someone accused of such a serious crime should be accompanied by two deputies. Since Vicki was in charge of court transport, he said, it is likely that none of her subordinates would feel comfortable challenging her for violating the policy.

“She has been an employee for 25 years, and I can say that every employee in this office is shocked that she is missing and that this has happened,” Singleton said. “We’re just in disbelief, she’s been an exemplary employee.”

While the circumstances may seem suspicious, Singleton said he wants conclusive evidence before accusing Vicki White of any wrongdoing. He said White was named employee of the year several times and was liked and respected. He also said she was eligible for retirement and discussed leaving the department for months.

“Obviously, you know, we’re looking at it from all angles,” he said. “Did she help him escape? That’s obviously a possibility. So we’re looking at it as an investigation angle. Was she kidnapped on her way to court? You know, taken against her will? You’re looking.”

Singleton said Vicki was armed with a 9mm gun before she disappeared, leading investigators to assume Casey is now armed. He described Casey as “extremely dangerous” and urged residents not to approach him and call 911.

“Right now, our hope and prayer is that we catch him before anyone gets hurt,” he said.

When asked if he believed Vicki was in danger, Singleton said, “I think she’s in danger, whatever the circumstances.”

“He was in prison for murder and, you know, he has nothing to lose,” he added.

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