The getaway vehicle used by an Alabama murderer and the prison worker who helped him escape has been found, US police said, but there are no other solid leads to help locate the pair.
Inmate Casey White, 38, and former Correctional Officer Vicky White (no relation), 56, disappeared on 29 April, with a nationwide manhunt underway to find the pair.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said the orange Ford Edge they used to escape was found on a rural roadside off Interstate 65 and towed on the day of the escape – but authorities in Tennessee did not realise until Thursday it was the same vehicle they had been looking for.
Despite the find, Sheriff Singleton said the move put the force “back to square one”, as it was not clear which vehicle they would have used next.
“There is NO sign the two are still in our area. The SUV was reported abandoned a week ago. It was identified last night,” the force said on Twitter.
Despite a $10,000 and $5,000 reward for information leading to Casey and Vicky respectively, investigators have not come up with any solid leads to locate them.
The US Marshals Service has also released new images of Casey’s tattoos – some of which are linked to the white-supremacist prison gang Southern Brotherhood – as well as a picture showing what Vicky would look like with brown hair, in case she has dyed it to avoid being recognised.
Casey White was awaiting trial in a capital murder case, after confessing to the 2015 “brutal stabbing” of Connie Ridgeway in 2020 while in state prison serving a 75-year sentence for other crimes.
In light of his escape, police have also re-opened an investigation into the mysterious death of his ex-girlfriend in 2008. She was shot in the chest, something that was ruled a suicide at the time.
Pair had ‘jailhouse romance’
Vicky White appears to have helped plan the escape, having sold her house and withdrawn large sums of money in the weeks prior.
Last Friday, the day she was due to retire after working for the sheriff’s office for 16 years, she claimed to be escorting the inmate to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation. When she did not answer her phone, or return in the afternoon, it came to light the evaluation was never scheduled and was merely a charade to sneak Casey White out of jail.
The two left in a patrol car, which was found abandoned in a nearby car park.
After uncovering the Ford Edge on Thursday, police said it was likely they had mechanical problems with the car and abandoned it where it was.
Sheriff Singleton said the pair had a “jailhouse romance”, but he remained worried for the safety of his former employee because Casey is “volatile” and could turn on her at any time.
‘Internet sleuths’ harass dealership owners
The Marshals Service also said after information about the vehicle was “accidentally released on social media” some “internet sleuths” located the car dealership where it had been sold and began harassing the owners on Facebook.
“The US Marshals would like to assure everyone that the owners have been very helpful in this investigation and that no one at the dealership is suspected of helping the pair avoid law enforcement,” authorities said in a statement.
In the past week, police have learned that Vicky White purchased an array of weapons, including an AR-15 rifle and a shotgun. There are also reports she has a handgun, and police have said the pair are extremely dangerous.
Anyone who spots them should not approach them.
Casey has also been linked to home invasions, and carjackings and was also involved in a police chase.