“Airbags are going off! Let’s get out and run!” a woman, allegedly late Vicky White, screamed to her fugitive lover before she inflicted a gunshot wound to her head in audio released by Evansville police on Tuesday.
This moment on Monday marked the end of an 11-day prison escape, which authorities say was a joint attempt by former correctional officer Vicky White, 56, and inmate Casey White, 38, that led to a nationwide manhunt.
Moments before Vicky White’s attempted suicide, the fugitives were escaping police who chased them down US Highway 41 into an industrial area, where the U.S. Marshals Task Force’s vehicle ran into the escapees’ vehicle and pushed it into a ditch.
“The Marshals Task Force officers intercepted them, actually collided with them to try to end the pursuit,” Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding told reporters near the crash scene Monday. “When this occurred, the female driver of the vehicle shot herself, and the passenger was injured.”
“We later learned that had they not done that, the fugitives were going to engage in a shootout with law enforcement,” Wedding elaborated in a press conference on Tuesday, noting that they found four semi-automatic 9mm handguns and an AR-15 in the fugitives’ car.
Emergency response personnel transported both Casey White and Vicky White to a local hospital, where Vicky succumbed to her injuries.
According to a May 1 news release, the U.S. Marshals originally believed Vicky White to be “endangered” by Casey White after both were found missing from Lauderdale County Jail on April 29. Authorities discovered two days later that the correctional officer was “facilitating” Casey White’s escape.
Casey White and Vicky White first met in August 2020, when Casey was brought to Lauderdale County for questioning after confessing to a murder, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told the New York Post on Wednesday.
Before they escaped from the Lauderdale County Jail, Casey White had been serving a 75-year prison sentence for a 2015 crime spree that involved first-degree robbery, attempted kidnapping, animal cruelty for shooting a dog, and burglary.
“What we found out now is that they were in communication from 2020 up until the current day,” Singleton said. The couple then allegedly developed a relationship in prison, leading up to the planned escape in April.
“There are several tragedies, you know, to this story,” Commander of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force Deputy Marshal Chad Hunt told WTVF-TV. “The way this escape ended, but also it stings that somebody entrusted with what she was given as a correctional officer planned, organized, and facilitated this escape.”
Casey White will be transferred to Alabama, where he will be detained until his trial for capital murder in Lauderdale County next month.
“We got a dangerous man off the street today,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “He is never going to see the light of day again, and that’s a good thing for not just our community, but that’s a good thing for this country.”