LAUDERDALE, AL – What was initially issued as a “blue alert” and a manhunt for an escaped convict and the corrections officer he was believed to have kidnapped has now turned into a manhunt for both.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said that Vicki White is now accused of “permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree.” His office issued a warrant for her arrest on Monday, May 2nd.
“We know she participated. Whether she did that willingly or if she was coerced, threatened somehow to participate in the case, not really sure. We know for sure she did participate,” Singleton said.
JUST IN: Warrant has been issued for Lauderdale County assistant dir. of corrections Vicki White on charges of committing or facilitating an escape, Lauderdale County Sheriff says, as manhunt intensifies for escaped murder suspect and corrections officer. https://t.co/aKUyBaECw1
— ABC News (@ABC) May 2, 2022
Casey White was already serving 75 years for crimes he committed in 2015. He was being held in Lauderdale County awaiting trial for capital murder charges stemming from the 2020 stabbing death of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway.
The U.S. Marshal’s Service has offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the male fugitive’s capture.
“We consider both of them dangerous and in all probability both of them are armed,” US Marshal Marty Keely said at the press conference.
According to Time, authorities have no clue where the pair have gone. The FBI has joined in the search with U.S. Marshal’s and local enforcement agencies.
Once again, the public is urged not to approach the man or the 56-year-old woman if spotted.
“Casey White, as you’ve heard me say over and over and over is an extremely dangerous person and we need to get him located and get him off the street,” Singleton said. “Don’t take any chances with this guy. He’s dangerous.”
As reported by WTVN13 out of Birmingham, Alabama, White sold her home in March and was set to retire the day they disappeared.
Singleton said last week that whether she was a willing participant or was forced into her actions, she is in danger.
“Knowing the inmate, I think she’s in danger whatever the circumstances,” Singleton said.
“He was in jail for capital murder, and he had nothing to lose. Whether she assisted him or not we don’t know, and we won’t address that until we have absolute proof that that’s what happened.
We are assuming at this point that she was taken against her will unless we can absolutely prove otherwise. But regardless, even if she did assist him, we think she’s in danger.”
This story is developing. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.
For more information on how this all unfolded, we invite you to:
Blue Alert: Alabama Sheriff’s Department employee and suspected capital murderer missing, manhunt underway
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL – Vicki White left the county detention center with 38-year-old Casey White (no relation) just before 10 am on Friday, April 29th.
She told the booking officer that she was transporting White to court for a mental health evaluation, followed by a doctor’s appointment, as she wasn’t feeling well.
Members of the Lauderdale Sheriff’s office tried reaching her on her cell phone after the pair failed to show at the courthouse roughly 5 blocks away. Those attempted calls went straight to voicemail. Those calls were made at approximately 3:30 pm.
Officials were able to confirm that there was no court appearance scheduled for the inmate. They also discovered that Vicki had no doctor’s appointment. They also indicated that the suspect had not returned to the detention center.
Roughly four hours later, a blue alert was issued by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
BREAKING: Search underway for missing Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office employee, inmate charged with murder
— Matt Kroschel (@Matt_Kroschel) April 30, 2022
The transport that White claimed to be making was done in a marked patrol car. That 2013 Ford Taurus was later found abandoned in a shopping center parking lot in Florence, Alabama, just short distance from the courthouse.
Sheriff Rick Singleton said that White was transporting the inmate alone, which would have been “a strict violation of the policy requiring two sworn deputies” for a suspect facing the charges that White was up against.
According to NBC News, White has been employed by the Sheriff’s Office for over 16 years. She is currently serving as the assistant director of corrections. She typically coordinates these types of transports, so no one thought anything was out of the ordinary.
“I’m sure her subordinates didn’t question her when she told them that she was bringing him to court for a mental evaluation,” Singleton told WAYY TV.
Investigators are trying to piece together the disappearance. They do not believe that she was working to assist White in escaping, but they are not ruling it out.
They are currently operating under the belief that she was taken against her will and intend to do so until they find evidence to the contrary.
“Did she assist him in escaping? That’s obviously a possibility,” Singleton said. “We’re assuming at this point that she was taken against her will, unless we can absolutely prove otherwise. I do think this, knowing the inmate: I think she’s in danger, whatever the circumstances. He was in jail for capital murder.”
White has been charged for the 2015 slaying of Connie Ridgeway at her home. At the time of that indictment, he was already in state prison on other convictions. He was returned to Lauderdale County to face trial on the two capital murder charges.
Police are looking for video surveillance from the shopping center that may have captured the pair after the patrol car was ditched.
Investigators are hoping that video may show which way the fled, if the grabbed another vehicle and the state of both individuals. A half-hour drive west or north would quickly put them across state lines in Mississippi or Tennessee.
White was armed with a duty weapon, a 9mm handgun. It is unknown of there were other weapons in the patrol car.
“Inmate Casey White should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. So right now, our hope and prayer is we get him before somebody gets hurt,” the sheriff stated.
Police say that anyone spotting them should not attempt to approach, but instead, call law enforcement immediately.
The blue alert provides a description of the inmate. He is 6′ 6″ and weighs 252 pounds.
This is a developing story. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.
Two of four escaped Mississippi inmates found hiding in plain sight, working in a restaurant
HERNANDO, MI – Four inmates who escaped the Desoto County Detention Facility in Mississippi last Friday are back behind bars after pretty much hiding in plain sight for 36 hours.
Officials from the Desoto County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference to explain what led to the escape and where the inmates were captured.
Chief Deputy Justin Smith said the four men, all trustees working in the kitchen as cooks, had escaped through a door during a delivery to the jail and headed to Memphis, Tennessee, which is about 30 miles north.
UPDATE: All four escaped inmates are now back in custody, the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office said. https://t.co/ITb2na588e
— ABC24 Memphis (@ABC24Memphis) April 24, 2022
Cesar Gonzalez and Jose Vasquez went with what they knew and were captured working at El Molino, a Mexican restaurant off Summer Avenue in the Memphis suburb of Bartlett. The other two, Cesar Martinez and Juan Monsivais, were caught about six miles west of El Molino, walking on North Graham Street.
In addition to the time all four men are already serving, they will now be charged with escape and will never be able to work as trustees in any jail system in the future, Smith said.
Torres told WREG News Channel 3 that he had no idea the men were escapees, and didn’t think it was suspicious because they were working out in the open.
“I don’t see the news. Somebody looking for these guys or whatever. Somebody come asking for job, apply, put in, fill out paperwork. That’s a different story. But these guys just asked to work for food.”
Torres said they asked to work for two days for food, and he agreed. He said:
“For two days, why not? You make it clean, organize it. The garbage can, make it clean.”
The Sheriff’s Department said that all four men were in for non-violent felony charges, something for which Torres said he was grateful. He added:
“You never know, but I was not thinking that.”
The men were captured within 36 hours of walking away from the facility.
Smith said officials are unaware of any crimes that were committed by the four men during their escape.
The inmates, who each were convicted of non-violent offenses, are likely to face about five years for the escape, officials said. Smith said it was the first escape in the facility’s 10-year history. Smith said:
“I will note, the jail facility has been open for a decade. And, this is the first escape we have had. We have not had an escape since 2006.”
Without going into detail, Smith said the men abused the trust given them and they walked away during a delivery. He said:
“I can tell you, they were trustees working in the kitchen area. They managed to slip out of a door during a delivery.”
The incident remains under investigation but the Desoto Sheriff’s Department said it has tightened security since the escape.
Two escaped inmates from Wisconsin prison show up shivering at shelter asking for help
April 17, 2020
COLUMBIA COUNTY, WI – Two inmates that had escaped from the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin on April 16th were reported as being recaptured as of April 17th. While the duo might have been crafty enough to escape, apparently avoiding capture is not their forte.
CCI inmates Thomas Deering and James Newman were recently apprehended in Rockford, Illinois, according to the Rockford Police Department. The RPD made mention of the apprehension via Twitter, saying the two had been seen at Miss Carly’s shelter.
Both escaped inmates from the Columbia Correctional Facility in Portage, WI are now in custody. They arrived at Miss Carly’s and were recognized from their posted pictures. More details to follow. #rockfordilpolicedepartment
— RockfordILPolice (@RockfordPD) April 17, 2020
The woman who runs the shelter in Rockford had noticed that two men in prison attire had come to the shelter. According to a Facebook post on the shelter’s page, she offered the men coffee after secretively contacting police about their presence.
She noted that she had recognized the two men as the ones who escaped from prison the day before:
“They had emergency blankets stuffed under their clothing. They looked just like the kind of people we want to help….but they weren’t. I recognized them right away. They had escaped from prison in Wisconsin.”
Deering and Newman are reportedly no strangers to escapes. Prior to them being transferred to CCI in Wisconsin, which is a maximum-security prison, they were noted as having escaped previous institutions. Investigators believed that these two had managed to scale a fence to exit the facility.
It’s good to know that these two were captured, as they’ve got some serious criminal histories.
Deering has a rap sheet going back 20 years, with convictions of kidnapping, three counts of second-degree sexual assault, burglary, escape, and battery. He was moved to the maximum-security prison in 2003 after he’d escaped from Waupun Correctional Facility in 2002.
As for Newman, he’s hosting some hefty convictions since 2009. He has been convicted of six charges of discharging a firearm, escape, kidnapping, and theft. He snagged his first escape back in 2012 from a supervised living facility that was settled in Jackson County.
Overall, it was a tense 24-hour period that came to a great end. Perhaps these two should be considered for isolation cells for a bit, considering they can’t seem to help but to try and make a run for it.
Earlier this month, we reported on another monumental suspect that was captured in Conway, South Carolina.
After nearly a month had passed since retired Lieutenant James Odell Cochran was found deceased in his home, his suspected killer was finally put behind bars in South Carolina after weeks of searching by police.
According to WMBF’s Ian Klein, Horry County Police began the pursuit on March 5 after officers responded to a call of suspicious activity at a residence just outside of Myrtle Beach. There, they found the body of Lieutenant Cochran who had already succumbed to wounds consistent with a homicide.
Investigators were led on a search for a stolen 2004 Chevy Silverado. The vehicle was eventually located but without sign of their suspect– 22 year old Erick Kwajae-Mikhail Faulk. For several weeks to follow, area police advised the community to be on the lookout for Faulk, who was described as being armed and dangerous.
🚨ARREST IN MURDER OF FORMER CONWAY PD LIEUTENANT🚨
Around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Eric Faulk, 22, was arrested in Green Sea for the murder of James Odell Cochran.
— Horry County PD (@horrycountypd) April 1, 2020
This was not Faulk’s first run-in with the law. The homeless man was arrested in 2017 for having received stolen goods valued less than $2,000 and obtaining property or a signature under false pretenses, Klein reports. Later in the same month, Faulk’s criminal activity became much more dangerous and he was charged with not only larceny but also third degree assault and battery.
During the month-long search for Lieutenant Cochran’s killer, his family anguished over the loss. Reat Gore, Cochran’s little sister, said:
“I just want justice served, I want him to be found I really do.”
Her pleas were answered on April 1 when Erick Kwajae-Mikhail was located and charged with murder and possession of a deadly weapon during a violent crime, WMBF reports. He was booked at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Lieutenant Cochran dedicated his life to serving his community. He joined the force in 1978 and retired in 2003. However, his retirement would not be long as he rejoined the department as a community service officer after only one month of retirement.
He gave another 13 years in the role of community service officer which seemed to suit him, Myrtle Beach Online’s Alex Lang reports. Conway Police Chief Dale Long was a rookie officer when he first met Cochran. He was impressed with the Lieutenant’s natural ease in diffusing tensions.
Chief Long said:
“When he showed up, he was calm, he was a stabilizing (figure). When he showed up, it was just like magic.”
There are no reports of any particular motive in the senseless killing which leaves loved ones and colleagues without many answers. Cochran’s childhood best friend Larry Jones recalled the character of his old friend. He told stories of growing up together but also of how his friend served in uniform.
“I truly believe Odell displayed love.”
After nearly 40 years, Lieutenant Cochran left a powerful legacy.
The City of Conway Police commented:
“Those who worked with him over the years are deeply saddened, but everyone has a special moment they remember working alongside him. The Conway Police Department would like to thank members of the community for their support during this time as we extend our prayers and support to the family of one of our own, Odell Cochran.”
However, perhaps the greatest recognition of Lieutenant Cochran’s character came from Chief Long who said:
“He was always a positive role model for anyone under his leadership… Just because he is gone, doesn’t mean his difference is.”
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