Loved ones gathered at the graveside services for Vicky White, the woman who died by suicide in a tragic conclusion to a nationwide manhunt.
The 56-year-old was laid to rest on Saturday at the Center Hill Cemetery in Alabama, just miles from where she allegedly helped charged murderer Casey White escape the Lauderdale County Jail on April 29, according to the NY Post.
Casey White's escape set off a massive search that ended with a car crash on May 9 in Evansville, Indiana in which Casey White was capture and the former assistant director of corrections was found with a gun in her hand and a reportedly self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Vicky White succumbed to her injuries after being transported to Deaconess Hospital.
Vicky White’s obituary gave little details about her life, other than she came from Lexington, Alabama and worked at the jail from which Casey White went missing.
Many took to the obituary’s online tribute wall to pay their condolences to Vicky White, who had once been regarded as a model employee after 16 years at the detention center.
“You were an amazing woman; it was an honor to work with you for all these many years,” wrote one woman. “You are now with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And when our Savior sees it fit and the time is right, you will be back in the loving arms of your beloved Casey once again.”
Alabama law classifies sexual contact with an inmate by an employee as custodial sexual misconduct, a class C felony.
On April 29, Vicky White — who was working on her last day at the jail before her retirement — told coworkers she was taking the inmate for a mental health evaluation before the two vanished. There was reportedly no such appointment for Casey White.
U.S. Marshals received a tip 10 days later that the pair were spotted exiting a vehicle at an Indiana car wash, as captured on surveillance photos published by ABC affiliate WAAY-TV.
Mark White — a family friend who has long-advocated justice for murder victim Connie Ridgeway — created the GoFundMe page with Ridgeway’s family to raise money for a reward for James Stinson.
He was one of many who expressed sadness over Vicky White's passing.
“From day one, we have sought justice and will continue to do so,” Mark White told Oxygen.com. “Life is so precious and has value. Connie’s life mattered, and Vicky’s life mattered too.”
Casey White was serving a 75-year sentence following a 2015 crime spree that included a home invasion, two carjackings and multiple shootings that left a dog dead and one woman injured, as previously reported.
He was eventually also charged with stabbing Ridgeway to death in her Rogersville, Alabama apartment in 2015, a case which had gone unsolved for five years until Casey White allegedly confessed in a letter to investigators. He later pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease and was being held at the Lauderdale County Jail awaiting trial before he escaped.
Ridgeway’s family was shocked by the escape but happy that Casey White was captured.
“It’s so refreshing to have a chance at justice again,” Ridgeway’s son, Austin Williams, told Oxygen.com. “We thought it was gone just a week ago. We didn’t think it would end well, and since then, we found out it was planned to end in a shootout. So we were very fortunate. It feels like a miracle.”
Despite Casey being back in custody, Ridgeway’s family also felt the sadness of Vicky White's death.
“We hoped and prayed for the best possible outcome, and this wasn’t it,” Williams continued. “We’re very sorry for the loss of Vicky. Our hearts go out to her family and friends. She was a beloved member of the community.”
Vicky White’s final moments were captured in a chaotic 911 call, as previously reported, and dashcam footage published by AL.com showed authorities placing Casey White under arrest and pulling Vicky White’s lifeless body from the wreckage of the overturned car.
Vicky White still had a gun in her hand.
Casey White was treated for injuries resulting from the car crash, according to Fox affiliate WBRC, and extradited back to Alabama on Tuesday. Lauderdale Sheriff Rick Singleton said Casey White “seemed blank. No emotion. No remorse. Nothing,” AL.com reported.
In addition to the capital murder charges he still faces in Ridgeway’s death, he is also now facing charges of escape in the first degree, according to CNN. The trial for Ridgeway’s murder is scheduled for June.