EVANSVILLE, Ind. – It could’ve ended in a shootout.
That was the plan from Casey White and Vicky White after they were spotted in southern Indiana, leading to a chase that ended in a crash and Vicky White’s death.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding revealed the detail during a news conference Tuesday about the national manhunt that ended up in his back yard.
“He was probably gonna have a shootout at the stake of both of them losing their lives,” Wedding said.
According to Wedding, the Alabama fugitives had four handguns and an AR-15 in their possession. Casey White told police he and Vicky White planned to end things in gunfire. Though the two share the same last name, they’re not related and were not married.
Quick action, Wedding said, stymied that plan, when a pursuing police car rammed their vehicle, sending it into a ditch.
“We later found, [if the car hadn’t ended up in the ditch], the fugitive was going to engage in a shootout with law enforcement,” Wedding said. “That action may have saved many of my deputies’ and fellow law enforcement officers’ lives.”
He continued, “I want to bring my people home and I don’t care about the fugitives’ lives if it protects my peoples’ lives.”
How the chase started
Investigators tracked the fugitives’ Cadillac to a motel. An Evansville police officer saw the car and notified the sheriff’s office. Police then set up surveillance so they could track the couple.
They saw them get into the vehicle and attempted to stop them. The car left the parking lot and went to Highway 41. The fugitives then turned into the parking lot of a nearby business and raced across a grass field.
During the pursuit, a car rammed the Cadillac, sending it into the ditch. Vicky White then shot herself and Casey White surrendered, bringing an end to the manhunt.
Wedding said investigators are convinced Vicky White shot herself, although he said they would have to wait for autopsy results to confirm it. He said Casey White expressed no remorse about her death.
On Tuesday night, the Evansville Police Department released dashcam and bodycam footage of Vicky White being pulled from the crash car and Casey White being apprehended.
The pair paid in advance for a 14-day stay at an Evansville motel and had been in the city for about a week. Investigators recovered several items from the couple, including guns, $29,000 in cash and multiple wigs.
Wedding said Casey White told investigators they needed a quiet place to lie low and Evansville fit the bill.
“They’d driven long enough that they wanted to stop somewhere for a while to get their bearings and find out the next place to travel,” Wedding said.
“After six days, it was just hard to believe they were here. I wouldn’t think somebody on the run would stay in a community like Evansville for six days,” the sheriff said.
There was no indication they were planning to meet someone in Evansville or knew anyone there.
“Their plan was pretty faulty,” Wedding said. “They’re criminals. Their plan was faulty and it failed, thank God.”
Now back in custody, the former escapee will go back to Alabama to face charges in a capital murder case. He’s waived extradition from Indiana to Alabama. Wedding said he’s been in touch with Alabama authorities and wouldn’t publicly release details of the transfer.
Tracking the truck
A tip from a car wash manager helped police pin down the fugitives’ location. The manager noticed a pickup truck that had apparently been abandoned at the business. Wedding said the couple bought the F-150 with cash and left in a Cadillac—the same vehicle used in the pursuit.
Wedding wasn’t sure how or where the couple acquired the Cadillac.
According to the sheriff, an officer ran the truck’s plate on May 2. It didn’t come back as stolen. The car wash manager called on May 4, but police said they had to wait 48 hours before it could be towed since it was on private property. The vehicle was then towed at the manager’s request.
Police said they weren’t immediately aware the truck was linked to the Alabama fugitives. In their eyes, it was simply an abandoned vehicle.
Still, the truck—and subsequent surveillance video—proved key in showing Casey White and Vicky White were in the Evansville area.
Wedding said police received multiple tips about possible sightings of the fugitives, although he wasn’t sure how credible they were. He cited a tip about a sighting in Richmond, Indiana, as an example.
On Tuesday, Evansville police released the following footage of an officer investigating the pickup found at the car wash.
Start of the manhunt
The jailer and inmate had been on the run since April 29, when Vicky White drove to the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama, to take the 38-year-old inmate for a mental evaluation.
However, no such mental evaluation for Casey White had been scheduled, and the two went on the run. Authorities recovered a Ford Edge belonging to them in Tennessee. They had been in Evansville since early May, even as the national manhunt intensified.
Casey White was awaiting trial in a capital murder case and was possibly facing the death penalty. He was already serving 75 years for a 2015 crime spree involving a home invasion, carjacking and police chase, authorities said.
He will not face charges in Vanderburgh County, Wedding said.