True Crime News Roundup: Alabama Corrections Officer Vanishes With Her Inmate Boyfriend
Plus: Dead Louisiana woman found fused to sofa; JonBenét Ramsey’s father seeks governor’s help with DNA testing; Australian man incarcerated for killing gay American in 1988; and Pennsylvania mother shoots her two boys in the head.
Investigators are hunting for an Alabama corrections official and a murder suspect after the pair started a romantic relationship and then vanished.
On the morning of April 29, Vicky White, 56, said she was taking 38-year-old inmate Casey White to the courthouse — but the two never made it.
According to Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton, Vicky, a 20-year veteran of the department, is now wanted on a warrant for allegedly permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree.
Eleven days before the pair disappeared, Vicky sold her home for $95,550 — well below the home’s estimated value of $235,600. She also announced she was retiring from her job as the assistant director of corrections.
According to authorities, Vicky and Casey may have begun their relationship as early as 2020, when Casey was incarcerated in Lauderdale County in connection to a 2015 murder.
Sheriff Singleton said inmates confirmed the corrections official and prisoner had a “special relationship” and that Vicky was getting Casey “extra food on his trays” as well as “privileges no one else got.”
The day the pair went missing, Vicky informed a booking officer she was transporting Casey to the courthouse alone for his mental health evaluation since she was the only person available that had a firearm.
"Being the boss and over the transport, she just informed the booking officer that she was going to carry him to the courthouse and drop him off, which was a flagrant violation of policy. But I'm sure because it was her boss, the booking officer didn't question it," Singleton said.
According to the sheriff, Vicky drove Casey to a shopping mall parking lot, where they ditched her patrol car. They drove away in a 2007 Ford Edge SUV that authorities believe they also planned to abandon.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly described Vicky, who is a widow, as "the most solid person at the jail” and said he was “so disappointed in her.”
“Obviously there was a side to Vicky White that we weren't aware of,” he told CNN.
“She has coordinated this and taken advantage of her knowledge of the system and played it to her advantage and, you know, it's made it very difficult.”
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to fugitive inmate Casey Whites’ whereabouts of the fugitive inmate and up to $5,000 for missing officer Vicky White.
Both are considered armed and dangerous.
The parents of a dead woman found fused to a sofa are charged with her murder.
A Louisiana couple who left their autistic daughter home while on a weekend trip away in early January were charged on May 2 with second-degree murder after the 36-year-old woman was found fused to a sofa by her own bodily fluids, authorities said.
“I have been a sheriff for six years, and I have had a lot of things happen here in East Feliciana Parish, but this type of scene, this is by far the worst,” Sheriff Jeffery Travis said, according to WAFB.
“Opened the door, walked into the house, there was a stench, an odor, feces, fecal material, urine, you couldn’t hold your breath,” Coroner Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III recalled, adding evidence suggested the woman, Lacey Ellen Fletcher, may have been sitting on the couch for around 12 years before her death.
When she died, she weighed less than 100 pounds and reportedly was covered in maggots and sores, according to officials.
Despite the shocking scene, Bickham claimed Lacey’s father, Clay Fletcher, “was completely emotionless,” while her mother, Sheila Fletcher, had her head down between her legs and “she was weeping a little bit.”
In 2010, the coroner noted, “the parents went to the doctor’s office without Lacey and asked his advice on what to do,” and claimed their daughter, who they said had extreme social anxiety in addition to autism, was “increasingly not wanting to leave the house, not wanting to leave the sofa, just totally recluse.”
Despite the doctor telling the pair to bring Lacey to the hospital, she was never admitted, Bickham said.
“The conditions in which she was found, it’s just unbelievable,” District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said of the case. “I mean, you don’t treat anybody or any animal like that.”
The couple was released from custody after posting a $300,000 bond on May 4.
JonBenét Ramsey’s father asks Colorado’s governor to intervene in the infamous murder case.
John Ramsey, the father of slain 6-year-old pageant princess JonBenét Ramsey, has requested Colorado’s governor to order all future DNA testing in the case be conducted by an outside agency.
The little girl was found murdered in the basement of her family’s Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996, and the unsolved case has captivated the nation ever since.
According to CNN, Gov. Jared Polis’s office is currently reviewing the petition that asks to “move DNA decisions in this case away from the [Boulder Police Department] to an independent agency so that JonBenét has a last chance at the justice she deserves.”
The petition states the decision should be granted “given the lack of progress” of local investigators.
“They are in a small community, and they don't have a lot of police resources and no experience in homicides,” John told CNN of the department that’s rebuffed outside aid on the 25-year-old case. “I don't fault them for that. But they are refusing help from those that really knew what they were doing. Arrogance and egos got in the way, and there's a lot of qualified help willing to come in."
In a statement issued May 2, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold insisted the investigation “has always been and will continue to be a priority for the Boulder Police Department.”
Since JonBenét’s death, Herold said, “detectives have followed up on every lead that has come into the department, to include more than 21,016 tips, letters and emails and traveling to 19 states to interview or speak with more than 1,000 individuals in connection to this crime.”
An Australian man is incarcerated for killing a gay American over three decades ago.
On May 3, a judge in Sydney, Australia, sentenced Scott Phillip White, 51, to 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing Scott Johnson, an American mathematician, CBS News reported.
In December 1988, Johnson, 27, was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the Sydney suburb Manley. At the time, his death was ruled a suicide, but in 2017 an inquest determined he likely was either pushed or fell while being chased.
White, who was charged with Johnson’s murder in 2020, once confessed he punched the man before he fell from the cliff.
“The offender did a violent act, and that act was the direct cause of Dr. Johnson leaving the clifftop in terror and dying on the rocks at its base,” Justice Helen Wilson said at the sentencing hearing.d
“I think what we got this week was fairness,” said Steve Johnson, the victim’s brother.
A mother attempts to kill herself after shooting her two young boys.
A Pennsylvania mother is accused of shooting her two young sons in the head while they were sleeping in their beds, prosecutors said.
Shortly after 7 a.m. on May 2, police responded to a home in Newtown after receiving a report of an armed person.
At the scene, 22-year-old Gianni Melchiondo told officers that his neighbor, Trinh Nguyen, 38, “handed him a box of photos and asked him to give the box to her ex-husband, who he worked with,” the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“When the victim turned around to face Nguyen, he saw Nguyen pointing a black revolver to his face,” prosecutors continued. “Nguyen pulled the trigger two times, but the gun did not fire.”
The neighbor was able to wrap Nguyen in a bear hug and disarm her, and she fled in a Toyota Sienna minivan.
Inside Nguyen’s home, officers discovered her two sons, Jeffrey "JT" Tini, 13, and Nelson Tini, 9, both shot in the head and clinging to life. The pair were rushed to an area hospital and placed on life support systems.
The victims’ mother was located around 11:30 a.m. the same day, and she was taken to a medical facility because authorities believe she attempted to kill herself with an overdose of narcotics, the D.A.’s Office said.
Nguyen was charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of an instrument of crime, but authorities expected to upgrade two of the attempted murder charges to homicide since doctors determined her boys could not survive their injuries.
“Both children will give the gift of life to others as their organs will be transplanted, [and] once that occurs, we will update these charges to two counts of homicide,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the shootings occurred the day before Nguyen was ordered to vacate her former sister-in-law’s property for failure to pay $11,000 in back rent, court records indicate.
According to NBC News, Nguyen was also locked in a bitter custody dispute with her ex-husband when she was alleged to have shot their sons.