A bizarre drama that riveted America ended in tragedy on Monday as an arrested prison guard with a fugitive ex-convict she allegedly helped escape died after shooting herself as the police moved in to nab them at the culmination of a 10-day manhunt.
Vicky White and Casey White, who were not related, were arrested in Evansville, Indiana, after their car crashed into a ditch as police acting on a tip chased them, officials said.
Vicky White, 56, described as having a romantic relationship with the fugitive prisoner, took her own life, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said. The county coroner’s office later confirmed his death.
White the prisoner, 38, was slightly injured during the arrest.
“We pulled a dangerous man off the streets today. He will never see the light of day again,” said Rick Singleton, the sheriff of Lauderdale County in Alabama, home to the scene of the initial escape. .
White had numerous run-ins with the law and was sentenced to 75 years in prison for kidnapping, burglary and attempted murder, among other crimes.
No shots were fired by the security forces and no police or passers-by were injured.
The arrest was made on a tip after the pair were spotted at a hotel, Singleton said. “It ended as we knew it would.”
Chris Swecker, a former FBI deputy director, told CNN it was about someone “looking for love in the wrong place.”
“You have this guard falling in love with a prisoner who probably groomed her for a while,” Swecker said, “to get along with her on this escape.”
Vicky White, an Alabama prison guard with an impeccable record, was suspected of helping longtime criminal Casey White escape April 29 on her last day on the job before retirement.
Investigators also learned White had sold his home in the weeks before the escape and withdrew about $90,000 in cash from several area banks, Singleton said last week.
Their report also noted the couple’s big height difference, with Casey White being 0.3 meters taller.
The case has captivated America, sparking media coverage of every twist of the manhunt.
Singleton said last week that Vicky White used a pseudonym to buy an SUV used as a getaway car, and would likely try to do so again.
The US Marshals Service, a federal agency that specializes in fugitive manhunts, also said White may have darkened his hair.
The agency released composite images of what she would look like, along with photos of Casey White’s tattoos, including one associated with a white supremacist prison gang.
On her last day on the job, Vicky White fabricated a court-ordered psychological evaluation for Casey White.
She said she had to drive him to the appointment. But the two never returned, and authorities realized they had disappeared that afternoon.
Vicky White’s mother, Pat Davis, said she was in disbelief at the escape.
“At first I thought it was a mistake,” she told a local television station. “She never did anything, I bet she never even got a speeding ticket.”
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN that a jailbreak like this in our time is a difficult mission.
“It’s getting harder every year to get these things right, with the ubiquitous nature of CCTV and the ability of the media and, quite frankly, social media to get this kind of information out to the public in real time,” he said. said.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)