(Trends Wide) — The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI say the search is continuing for Deputy Director of Corrections Vicki White and inmate Casey White, who went missing Friday. The inmate and the corrections officer are not related.
Casey White, 38, was serving a 75-year prison sentence on various charges when he confessed in 2020 to killing Connie Ridgeway, according to Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly. However, White pleaded not guilty.
White was being held at the Lauderdale County Detention Center for hearings related to the Ridgeway case.
Ridgeway’s son, Austin Williams, told Trends Wide his murder was “a total shock” to the family.
For years, Austin and his brother Cameron worked to keep Ridgeway’s memory alive by offering a reward for any information leading to the arrest of his killer.
“We were more or less his world. She was a very nice person, kind of a friend to everyone,” Austin Williams said.
Williams says White’s trial had been rescheduled due to COVID-19 delays. In 2020, authorities discovered that White planned to escape and take a hostage, but sheriff’s deputies foiled those plans.
“I see a very troubled person. I see someone who is really, like, you want someone to be able to be rehabilitated, but at this point it’s someone who is very, very conflicted and just needs to be removed from human society,” Williams said.
On Friday morning, Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Director of Corrections Vicki White told a detention center guard that she would drop White off at the courthouse and then seek medical attention because she wasn’t feeling well. Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told Trends Wide that although Casey White was allegedly being transported for a mental health evaluation at the courthouse, they have since learned that no evaluation or other court hearing has been scheduled for him to on Friday.
Authorities said Casey White was being held on murder charges and that two sworn officers should have been with him at all times, including during transportation to court. The sheriff said Casey White and Vicki White never made it to court. Authorities did not realize they were missing until several hours later.
“She knew politics. She knew that she shouldn’t leave here alone with him. So that tells us that something was going on. She took him out of the detention center to a scheduled court appearance that did not exist. So we don’t know if she was coerced, threatened to go through with that plan or if she did it willingly or indeed if he somehow overpowered her in the four blocks from the detention center to the courthouse and took control of the vehicle. and hers,” Singleton said.