The car law enforcement has been searching for in the disappearance of former Lauderdale County corrections officer Vicky White and escaped capital murder suspect Casey White has been found.
Authorities had been looking for the 2007 rust-colored Ford Edge with an unknown license plate and minor damage to the rear left bumper.
The vehicle was identified about 11 p.m. Thursday at a towing yard in the Bethesda area of Williamson County in Tennessee.
It had been sitting there since the day of the escape but was not linked to the case until Thursday night.
Williamson County sheriff’s officials said the vehicle was reported abandoned on Friday, April 29, the day the two made their getaway.
Sheriff’s officials in Tennessee also said there were no tags on the vehicle and it was locked. A search of the area where it was found was conducted Friday morning.
“There is NO sign the two are still in our area,’’ Williamson County sheriff’s officials said on Twitter Friday.
Here is full coverage of the search for Vicky White and Casey White
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said investigators learned the wanted vehicle, which was recently purchased by Vicky White, was reported abandoned on a rural county road just before 2 p.m. that Friday and towed at 2:37 p.m.
The two fled the jail around 9:30 a.m. April 29 and were not reported missing until that afternoon.
“They found the car before we even knew they were gone,’’ Singleton said at a 2 p.m. press conference held Friday, May 6.
Singleton said there was nothing found in the vehicle and said there had been an attempt to spray paint the Ford Edge.
“It’s a botched up job,’’ the sheriff said.
Friday marked one week since Casey White and Vicky White made their well-planned, low-key escape that quickly catapulted into one of the most talked about news events of the week.
The 56-year-old jailer, on what was to be her last day of work after 17 years at the sheriff’s office, nonchalantly led the shackled 38-year-old convict and capital murder suspect to her waiting patrol cruiser for a mental health evaluation that was never scheduled.
“It was obviously a jailhouse romance,’’ the sheriff said Friday. “That’s the only explanation I have.”
After the pair made the getaway from the jail one week ago, they drove straight to the Florence Square shopping center, where they ditched the patrol car and left in the Ford Edge with an unknown license plate and minor damage to the rear left bumper.
Vicky White, who had recently sold her home for $95,500 – much less than the appraised value – had stayed in a Quality Inn the night before the escape that was in walking distance of where she purchased the Ford Edge, also with an alias.
Authorities said she withdrew roughly $90,000 from area banks before the escape, which they presume was from the sale of the house.
Singleton said he assumed the pair had mechanical problems with the Edge, which caused them to abandon it where they did.
“It was abandoned in the middle of nowhere on a county road where it would be found,’’ he said. “Somebody would obviously see it sitting on the side of the road and call it in, which is what happened.”
He said the area near where the car was found is being canvassed and investigators are trying to determine whether any cars had been stolen in the vicinity around the time the Ford Edge was ditched.
“We’re sort of back to square one on a vehicle description,’’ he said. “I’m hoping we’ll get a break on that.”
Vicky White recently purchased an AR-15 and a shotgun, and the two are believed to be armed with those weapons as well as her service gun. Her patrol vehicle keys, handcuffs and police radio were found in her abandoned police cruiser.
He said he’s not sure if they walked away from the abandoned vehicle or hitched a ride. “I think that threw them a curve but they’ve obviously had enough time to recover and have settle back down in a routine,’’ he said.
Asked if he was concerned for Vicky White’s safety, Singleton said, “I’ll be concerned for her safety until we know she’s she safe,’’ he said.
He described Casey White as volatile, and said Vicky White could be in danger if “something sets him off” and he sees Vicky White as a hindrance to his plans.
“I would say to Vicky, ‘You know we’re going to find you. Hopefully we find you safe. If you’re safe right now, get out while you can,’’’ the sheriff said.
Asked if he thought Vicky White, with her extensive law enforcement background, was a step ahead of the investigation, Singleton said, “Her knowledge and corrections and the procedures we use in the sheriff’s office most definitely played to her advantage. I think this was a very well thought out plan, a very calculated plan. We’re at a loss.”
Singleton said there have been many “sightings” but none that have panned out.
Casey White, who is 6-foot-9, weighs about 330 pounds and is covered in tattoos from a white supremacist gang, was serving a 75-year sentence at William Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer for a multi-state crime spree.
In December 2015, White was arrested after authorities said he staged, in one night, a home invasion, two carjackings and multiple shootings in North Alabama and South Tennessee that left a dog dead and a woman injured.
In 2019, he was found guilty of a total of nine charges, including trying to kill his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping her two roommates. Other charges included first degree robbery, first degree burglary, third degree burglary, breaking and entering a vehicle, animal cruelty for shooting a dog and attempting to elude.
In June 2020, Casey White sent a letter from the prison to an investigator with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office confessing to the brutal Oct. 23, 2015, murder-for-hire of Connie Jane Ridgeway. He said he was hired to kill the 59-year-old Ridgeway, who was found dead in her Rogersville apartment.
With that confession, Casey White was returned to the Lauderdale County Jail and to Vicky White, who authorities now say had a “special relationship” with the inmate for up to two years, even communicating with him in state prison and using an alias to do so.
The U.S. Marshals Service is leading the hunt with more than 100 investigators tasked with finding the elusive pair.
A $10,000 reward was issued by the U.S. Marshals for information leading to Casey White, and the agency later added a $5,000 reward for the capture of Vicky White, who is charged with permitting or facilitating an escape in the first degree, a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Casey White is now charged with first-degree escape, according to Connolly’s request to the governor.
On Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a $5,000 reward each for information leading to arrest of the pair. The total reward of $10,000 was requested by Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly who received word it had been granted on Friday afternoon.
This is a developing story and will be updated.