Investigators are likely turning Vicky White’s "world upside down" as they intensify their manhunt for the fugitive corrections officer and the prison escapee, Casey Cole White, who disappeared from an Alabama facility more than a week ago, says longtime U.S. Marshal Service commander Lenny DePaul.
Saturday marked Day 9 of the manhunt for Casey Cole White, 38, and Vicky White, 56. Vicky and Casey are not related, but had been in the throes of a "jailhouse romance" when they slipped away from the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama, on April 29, Sheriff Rick Singleton told reporters on Friday.
At the time, Vicky White, a high-ranking corrections employee, left alone with Casey, telling co-workers she was transporting him for an evaluation at the county courthouse, officials have said. She allegedly said she would then go to see her doctor.
But Casey was not scheduled for an evaluation at the time, investigators later learned.
While mystery surrounding their whereabouts persist more than one week later, DePaul told Fox News Digital Vicky and Casey White "would be fools to leave the country."
"That would be a dumb move," DePaul, the now-retired commander of the U.S. Marshal Service’s New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force said Friday, when asked about online speculation that the couple had fled elsewhere, possibly to Mexico or Canada. "It does not make life difficult for us as an agency."
DePaul spent decades with the U.S. Marshal Service. He retired in 2013 and is not involved with law enforcement’s manhunt for the couple.
"You’ve got to remember, Interpol, 186 countries under them – we work well with our international folks. We have an international branch within the Marshal Service, and we're on the ground in several countries," DePaul went on. "We’re way ahead of the curve on that stuff."
And while they would be foolish to leave the U.S., "it would help us," DePaul said.
Since authorities learned of Vicky White’s escape with Casey White, law enforcement at all levels have been "turning her world upside down," the long-term federal agent and U.S. Navy veteran said.
"She was on the outside. Regardless of whether or not he's groomed her, and he brought her on board and convinced her of whatever, your focus is on her right now," DePaul went on. "That digital footprint in today's world is very, very important. Her trusted circle of friends – we call it, ‘Who's Who in the Zoo.’ They're taking a look at everybody."
From the get-go, DePaul said, investigators would be looking not only into who Vicky White spoke to, but, "what kind of websites did she visit? What’s their gameplan?"
In the month before the escape, Vicky White allegedly sold her home. She was supposed to retire on April 29 – the day the pair disappeared – but the paperwork had not officially been filed with the state.
She also purchased an orange-colored 2007 Ford Edge SUV, which investigators tracked down to Bethesda, Tennessee, in Williamson County, on Thursday night.
"They got cash," DePaul continued. "They can afford provisions. They can afford to go dark, not talk to anybody. The big question is, how long are they going to last together?"
Marshals describe White as being 6-foot-9 inches tall and about 330 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Law enforcement images show he has worn his hair in various ways through the years, including shaved, shaggy and with a buzz cut.
He stands significantly taller than Vicky White, who is 5-foot-5 inches and approximately 145 pounds. She has brown eyes and is said to walk with a "waddling gait."
DePaul said Casey White’s distinct tall stature and the pair’s height discrepancy make evading public attention "difficult."
"Time is on investigators’ side. They've got nothing but time. These people are sleeping with one eye open. They don't know what their next move is going to be, who's looking at them?" he explained.
DePaul noted that the pair could have separated sometime after fleeing.
In the more than a week since the pair fled, the U.S. Marshal Service has gradually released a stream of new information and photographs.
New USMS images from late Thursday include photos showing what Vicky White would look like if she changed her hair color from her normal blonde to a darker shade, or if she shortened it from her typical length.
And several new images show the numerous tattoos Casey White bore on both sides of his chest, his arms and his back. The tattoos include a horseshoe emblem with a red-colored flower on his left pec; ink encompassing his full right shoulder and another tattoo covering part of his left arm; and a confederate flag on his back emblazoned by the words "Southern Pride" in a crude script.
He is allegedly linked to the local "Southern Brotherhood," a "white supremacist prison gang."
Authorities said Casey White "should be considered armed and extremely dangerous." The pair also might be in possession of multiple firearms, including a shotgun, an AR-15 and possibly Vicky White’s service weapon.
Casey White was serving a 75-year sentence for a slew of crimes from 2015, including carjacking, a home invasion and a police chase. He had been serving his sentence at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama, but had been transferred to the Lauderdale County jail while he awaited trial for the 2015 murder of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway.
Casey and Vicky White met in 2020, when Casey was being housed in the Lauderdale center after confessing to the 2015 slaying, authorities have said. The pair maintained contact and are said to have spoken by phone between 2020 and 2022, even when Casey was transported to the Donaldson center before he sent back to Lauderdale to await trial.
On Friday, the USMS revealed they had received a tip around 11 p.m. Thursday about a vehicle matching the description of the 2007 Ford Edge, and had since been able to confirm the SUV was the same one used by the fugitive pair.
With the help of the tip, they were able to track the vehicle to a tow lot in Williamson County, Tennessee, about two hours north of where the manhunt first began, the office said.
Tennessee's Williamson County Sheriff's Office said in a Friday tweet that the fugitive vehicle had been reported abandoned "a week ago" in Bethesda. "There is NO sign the two are still in our area," the tweet stated.
Officials are now offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads law enforcement to the couple. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the U.S. Marshals at 1-800-336-0102.
Fox News' Adam Sabes contributed to this report.