It means the two drove about two hours north to Williamson County, Tennessee, after disappearing from a county jail in Florence, Alabama, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said at a news conference Friday.
But authorities know little about what came next.
“We now know where the car is, we know in which direction they went,” the sheriff said. “We are trying to scour the area for any witnesses and are also trying to investigate whether stolen vehicles have been reported in that area during that time.”
Authorities believe the vehicle suffered mechanical problems that led to the abrupt stop in the area. But the sheriff said investigators don’t yet know if the couple stole another vehicle, or went for a ride with someone else and where they went.
“We’re back to square one,” he said. “After Friday afternoon, when they left that car, which direction they went from there, we don’t know.”
Vicky White, 56, and Casey White, 38, have been missing for over a week now. The two, who officials say have been in a romantic relationship, are not related.
Correction officer using aliases
Vicky White, who was an assistant director of corrections for Lauderdale County, took Casey White out of county jail Friday morning and said she was taking him for a mental health evaluation. She said she would receive medical care after she dropped off the prisoner because she was not feeling well.
The two have not been seen since. The patrol car that rescued the officer and the prisoner was found abandoned in the parking lot of a shopping center. Authorities believe the couple left the lot in another vehicle: the 2007 Ford SUV Vicky White bought and parked the night before, Singleton said earlier.
She now has an active arrest warrant for allegedly allowing or facilitating first-degree escape. She is no longer employed by the sheriff’s office, the office said, adding that Friday was her last day of work, her papers were never finalized. Her prison keys, radio and handcuffs were found in the abandoned SUV.
Investigators believe Vicky White had a large amount of money when the couple disappeared, Singleton said Friday, adding that authorities are working on more details.
“Her knowledge of corrections and her knowledge of the procedures we use here at the sheriff’s office have certainly played to her advantage. I think this was a very well thought out plan,” Singleton said at Friday’s press conference.
“Her knowledge left us a little at a loss,” the sheriff added. “It’s a very calculated plan.”
Vicky White has also used aliases, the sheriff added, including for the purchase of the vehicle. “I’m assuming she probably ditched those aliases and probably got a new identity now.”
Officials share photos and rewards
The pair should be considered dangerous and may be armed with weapons including an AR-15 rifle, handguns and a shotgun, the US Marshals Service said.
The agency said Casey White threatened his ex-girlfriend and her sister in 2015 if he was ever released, “he would kill them and he wanted the police to kill him.” Authorities have warned of the detainees’ “potential targets” and have taken steps to protect them, the Marshals Service said.
The service has also released several photos of Casey White and his tattoos, as well as photo renderings of what Vicky White, who was blonde when she disappeared, would look like with darker and shorter hair.
The agency is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the inmate’s arrest and up to $5,000 for the officer.
On Friday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced additional rewards of $5,000 each for information leading to the arrest and arrest of Vicky White and Casey White.
When asked Friday what he would say to Vicky White if she could hear him, the sheriff said, “You know we’re going to find you. Hopefully we’ll find you safe.”
“If you’re safe now, still safe, get out while you still can and report yourself to local authorities wherever you are,” Singleton said.
Ryan Young, Chuck Johnston and Jaide Timm-Garcia of DailyExpertNews contributed to this report.