(NewsNation) — The Ford Edge that escaped Alabama inmate Casey White and former correctional officer Vicky White have reportedly been traveling in was found in Middle Tennessee.
The vehicle was discovered abandoned in a rural area and has now been impounded, NewsNation local affiliate WKRN reported. It was reported abandoned a week ago, and on Twitter, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle was identified Thursday night.
Investigators believe the pair abandoned the vehicle after experiencing mechanical issues.
“There is NO sign the two are still in our area,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
There was nothing in the car, which had been poorly spray painted, police said during a news conference Friday afternoon.
Tune in at 8/7 Central Friday to watch an hour-long special edition of NewsNation Prime that will take a deeper look at the circumstances around this case and the ensuing manhunt for Casey White and Vicky White.
A week has passed since the inmate and corrections officer who share a “special relationship” vanished from a detention center in Lauderdale County, Alabama.
As the nationwide manhunt for Casey White and Vicky White intensifies, Sheriff Rick Singleton is revealing new details about his former employee.
Investigators are offering rewards of $10,000 for information leading to Vicky White’s apprehension and $15,000 for Casey White’s.
Singleton says there are aspects of Vicky White’s life that no one ever knew, explaining that she had a couple of aliases. According to the sheriff, she used one of those aliases to buy the Ford Edge.
The U.S. Marshals Service released new photos Thursday night of both Casey White and Vicky White. According to the USMS, Vicky White may have tinted her blonde hair a darker shade since the escape. She is 5 feet 5 inches, weighing 145 pounds, with brown eyes and a waddling gait when she walks.
The USMS released pictures of Casey White’s tattoos. They say some of his ink is affiliated with the Alabama-based white supremacist prison gang Southern Brotherhood. Casey White has brown hair, hazel eyes, weighs 330 pounds and stands at 6 feet 9 inches.
Authorities published illustrations showing two figures scaled to the size of Casey White and Vicky White along with the Ford Edge.
Web of lies
While the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office initially thought Vicky White may have been coerced in the escape, it appears that a web of lies has started to unravel. Investigators have peeled back layers of what seems to be a calculated plan behind the capital murder suspect’s escape and the corrections officer police say fooled those who knew her best.
Investigators report that Vicky White and Casey White had an ongoing relationship for at least two years, with the pair communicating frequently by phone.
Last month, court documents show that Vicky White sold her home. A week prior to the escape, she reportedly checked into a hotel. Days before their disappearance, she bought the Ford Edge. And the day she vanished, she was set to retire from a job she had for nearly 17 years.
“There obviously was a part of Vicky White that none of us ever knew for her to do something like this,” Singleton told NewsNation’s Rush Hour on Thursday.
New reports have surfaced that after the escape Vicky White visited an adult lingerie store and a department store in Florence to buy men’s clothing.
NewsNation’s Brian Entin spoke to Vicky White’s mother off-camera, who is in complete shock over the escape. She says her daughter lived right behind her before she sold her house and that this is something she never would have expected from Vicky. She hopes Vicky will come back home and is thinking of ways to appeal to Vicky before interviewing with media outlets.
‘He’s already killed one.’
Vicky White ended up taking Casey White out of the Lauderdale Detention Center on April 29, claiming he had a mental health evaluation at the courthouse, an appointment investigators learned was never on the docket.
According to authorities, Casey White confessed to murder and was awaiting trial for the brutal stabbing when he escaped the jail. White had already been serving time for a 2015 violent crime spree including a home invasion, carjacking and police chase.
“He’s already killed one, you know, so he is facing the death penalty, so he has absolutely nothing to lose,” Singleton said. “If she [Vicky White] becomes a liability to him or slows him down, I think he’s very capable of hurting her seriously, even killing her.”
Authorities have warned that he is extremely dangerous.
Locked up love scenario
Investigators believe Casey White and Vicky White had a “special relationship” that was ongoing for at least two years. They say the pair frequently communicated by talking on the phone. Inmates reported that Vicky White would give Casey White extra attention and extra food.
Dr. Pepper Schwartz, a professor of Sociology at the University of Washington and counselor on the show Married At First Sight, says this is by far not the first time a so-called locked up love scenario has happened. She says often inmates groom people with low self-esteem.
“This kind of thing has happened before. This isn’t the first time this exact scenario happens. A guy in there for capital crimes, a woman who is attached to the jail in some way, and he grooms her. He tells her how special she is. He talks about how he’s been framed, how nobody believes him, but her and how amazing she is. And nobody appreciates her like she does. And she starts to believe that he’s innocent, or it was provoked, you know, and justified in some way, whatever it is, mostly he was framed, or he’s a good man who would rot in jail the rest of his life, but she could save him. And he becomes something to her showing her what a good person she is, and that she could be the hero of her own life. And she could save this huge injustice or he’s her soulmate. He’s the love of her life. She’s got to save him. They’ve got to be together, the whole thing gets dramatized. And her vision of herself changes. And he helps her and he grooms her so that she becomes his accomplice,” Pepper explained.
Pepper says it’s extremely common for women to fall in love with men behind bars, explaining that someone who is lonely sometimes can be drawn to people in prison.
“Unfortunately, it is extremely common for women to be falling in love, even get married to people who have a lifetime murder conviction,” Pepper said. “What’s more secure than somebody behind bars? You’re everything to them. Anything they need, any emotion they have, you are the recipient or the giver of that. And that’s where the grooming comes in.”
She says it’s unlikely that Vicky is the mastermind behind the escape, noting that Casey White has nothing to lose and Vicky White had everything to lose.
“She has everything to lose. She’s going lose her job, she’s going to lose her safety. Even if she has some fantasy, that they’re going end up in some Caribbean island, safe and sound for the next 50 years. She’s going to leave every other relationship that is important to her. Now, she may have figured out the system, because she works in the system, about what would help him get out of there. But you know, faking a doctor’s appointment isn’t such a mastermind plan. She’s obviously prepared for it, she knew she was going to need a lot of cash. She got rid of her house quickly from what I can understand. This is a plan. This isn’t a sudden impulse, but I don’t see it going the other way around,” Pepper said.
Former New York City Corrections Officer Robin Kay Miller says male prisoners try to seduce female corrections officers all the time.
“They start out telling you things like your hair looks nice, your shirt’s fitting nice, they’ll say little things. They’ll ask can you bring them something in,” Miller said.
She says the requests start out small as they analyze a corrections officer’s behavior.
“They study us. They watch you every day. They listen to the officers talk about you. They watch your mannerisms. They watch your attitude. They literally study you, so they can tell from the way you speak to them or the way you handle yourself,” Miller said on Dan Abrams Live.
She says the moment a corrections officer lets their guard down, inmates can tell they have a vulnerability that may be able to be exploited.
“The relationship changes once an inmate or an incarcerated individual gets you to do something for them whether it’s bringing in drugs, cigarettes, or whatever the case is. Once they gain your trust, once they get you to do anything, now they own you. So if you’re escaping with an inmate, like this case, he owns her now. She has to do whatever basically he says. Now it’s probably gone from oh, she’s so madly in love to seeing him for the monster he really is,” Miller said.
‘They could be anywhere’
With a six-hour headstart before authorities started investigating their disappearance on April 29, Sheriff Singleton says Casey White and Vicky White could be anywhere. For now, law enforcement officers are following multiple leads and hoping they pan out.
“Obviously Vicky, having been in this profession for 17 years, she’s seen this scenario play out many times over her career and she knows how it always ends. We’re going to catch her. They’re going to be caught and be brought back to jail and they’re going to face the charges they’re now facing,” Singleton said.
Investigators say Casey White and Vicky White are believed to be armed and extremely dangerous, carrying a shotgun and an AR-15-style rifle. Anyone who sees the pair is urged not to approach them or engage with them, but instead call 911 immediately.
“You know we’re going to find you,” the sheriff said. “Hopefully we find you safe. If you’re safe right now, get out while you can and turn yourself in to local authorities wherever you’re at.”