She and escaped inmate Casey White were detained Monday in Indiana after more than a week of escape, law enforcement officials said.
Two fugitives were caught in Evansville, Indiana, when U.S. marshals chased their car and then crashed into it, authorities said. Casey White, 38, surrendered, and Vicki White, 56, shot herself and was taken to hospital, where she later died, authorities said.
White died at Diacones Hospital, and more information will be available after an autopsy scheduled for Tuesday, the coroner’s office said, adding that the sheriff’s office could provide investigative information if it becomes available.
The arrest of the unmarried couple halted a nationwide hunt that began on April 29, when Vicki White, assistant director of correctional facilities in Lauderdale County, allegedly helped escape the case of Casey White, who was awaiting trial in a murder case. Vicki White told colleagues she was taking the inmate out of jail for a mental health examination at the courthouse, but instead they escaped from the area.
“It ended in a very long, stressful and difficult week and a half. It ended the way we knew it. They are in custody,” said Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton of Alabama.
The car they took was later found abandoned in Tennessee, but no trace of the couple remained until U.S. marshals received a hint Sunday that photos of surveillance from a car wash in Evansville showed a man very reminiscent of Casey White traveling with Ford F-2006 release. 150 pickups, the Marshals Service said. White is 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 meters) tall and weighs about 260 pounds (118 pounds).
On Monday, officials learned the couple was spotted near the sheriff’s office, Vanderburg County Sheriff Dave Wedding in Indiana said. When officers arrived, the couple fled in a car and led police in pursuit, he said. U.S. marshals faced them, “to try to stop the persecution,” he said. Casey White was injured, not too seriously, in the crash, and then Vicki White shot herself, inflicting “very serious” injuries, he said.
“We are lucky that none of the law enforcement agencies were injured, innocent civilians were injured, the chase was short-lived, and we have both people in custody,” Wedding said.
At the time of his escape, Casey White was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder and other charges. He was awaiting trial for stabbing a 58-year-old woman during the 2015 theft. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
“Today we took a dangerous man off the streets. He will never see the world again. It’s good not only for our community. It’s good for our country,” Singleton said.
Federal and local law enforcement also learned that Casey White threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and sister in 2015 and said he “wanted the police to kill him,” the marshals’ service said.
On May 2, a warrant was issued for Vicki Sue White, accusing her of allowing or facilitating first-degree escape.
Family members and colleague Vicki White said they were stunned by her participation. Singleton said she was an exemplary employee, but looking back, it turned out that the plan had been in the works for some time. Prison inmates said they had a special relationship, and she gave Casey White better treatment than the other inmates.
Over the past few months, she bought a rifle and a rifle and also is known to have had a gun, said U.S. Marshal Marty Keeley.
She sold her house for about half the market value and bought an orange 2007 Ford Edge, which she hid in a mall without license plates.
“This escape was obviously well planned and calculated. There was a lot of preparation for it. They had a lot of resources, cash, vehicles,” Singleton said.
The escape came the day Vicki White said it would be her last day at work. She told colleagues that Casey White was undergoing a mental health assessment at the courthouse, but it was not scheduled. She did not have a second officer accompanying them, which was against prison policy.
The video shows the couple went from jail to the mall, where they picked up a Ford and left, Singleton said. Their flight was not detected for most of the day.
Investigators believe the pickup truck that Casey White had at the car wash was stolen in Tennessee and then taken about 175 miles (280 kilometers) to Evansville, a law enforcement spokesman told the Associated Press. The official was unable to publicly discuss the details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Associated Press writer Mike Balzamo contributed from Washington.
ABC News contributed to this report.
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