April 30 (UPI) — Authorities in Alabama were searching for a man suspected of murder who disappeared along with a corrections officer en route to court.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said the suspect, Casey Cole White, left the local jail at 9:41 a.m. in the custody of Assistant Director of Corrections Vicki White, a 25-year veteran of the force. The two are not related despite sharing a last name.
Vicki White told her colleagues she was taking Casey Cole White to the Lauderdale County Courthouse for a mental evaluation, though Singleton said there were no court appearances scheduled for the man, according to AL.com.
Vicki White also told her colleagues she was going to seek medical attention after dropping him off at the courthouse because she was feeling unwell. Singleton said the deputy was escorting the prisoner by herself, “which is a strict violation of policy.”
CBS News reported that Vicki White’s patrol vehicle was found in a shopping center parking lot less than 2 hours later and Casey Cole White never returned to custody. Singleton said Vicki White also hadn’t scheduled a medical appointment.
“We’re still aggressively investigating, trying to find out what happened and find the location of deputy White and inmate White,” he told reporters at a news conference.
Singleton said authorities were investigating whether Vicki White was kidnapped or helped Casey Cole White escape.
“I think she’s in danger, whatever the the circumstances,” he said. “He was in jail for capital murder.”