A murder suspect had a “special relationship” with a prison officer who is believed to have helped him escape from jail in the US, according to a sheriff’s office.
Casey White, who was awaiting trial on a capital murder case, disappeared with Vicky White after leaving a detention centre in Florence, Alabama, on Friday. The pair are not related.
Ms White, 56, told colleagues the 38-year-old inmate needed to go to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation.
Later that afternoon, when she was not answering her phone, the authorities discovered no such evaluation had been scheduled.
Ms White’s patrol car was also found abandoned at a shopping centre.
In a statement, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said: “Investigators received information from inmates at the Lauderdale County Detention Center over the weekend that there was a special relationship between Director White and inmate Casey White.
“That relationship has now been confirmed through our investigation by independent sources and means.”
The office did not give further details about the nature of the relationship.
White was serving a 75-year sentence for a string of crimes that included attempted murder, robbery and burglary.
Authorities said White was facing a murder charge over the stabbing of a 58-year-old woman.
A warrant has been issued for Ms White’s arrest on charges of assisting in an escape.
Family members and colleagues said they are bewildered by the alleged involvement of Ms White, who had worked for the sheriff’s office for 16 years.
“I just can’t picture Vicky running off with that man,” her former mother-in-law, Frances White, said.
She added her former daughter-in-law was kind and always wanted to help others.