Alabama fugitive inmate Casey Cole White and his corrections officer lover Vicky White paid a local homeless man to check them into an Indiana motel as they tried to lay low during their time on the run, according to authorities.
The couple checked into Motel 41 in Evansville, Indiana, back on 3 May and paid cash upfront for a 14-night stay, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding told ABC31.
The sheriff said investigators believe the Whites, who are not married and not related, paid a homeless man to use his own ID to check into room 150 so that they did not have to reveal their own identities to the owner.
As a result, the motel owner said he had no idea that the two people at the centre of a nationwide manhunt were holed up inside his building until after law enforcement tracked down and apprehended the fugitives on Monday.
Motel 41 owner Paul Shah told ABC31 that the room was “under some local guy’s name” and that the couple “were not officially guests of the hotel”.
He did not provide details about the identity of the individual and suggested that the fugitives could have been visiting him.
Sheriff Wedding said on Tuesday that the couple did not have ties to Evansville, Indiana, and are not believed to know anyone in the area.
The individual believed to have booked the motel on behalf of the fugitives is not facing any charges.
Investigators learned that the couple, who are believed to have been in a relationship for the last two years, were staying at the motel that day.
Surveillance footage had captured the 38-year-old capital murder suspect at a nearby car wash back on 3 May where he and his 56-year-old corrections officer lover had then abandoned their Ford pickup truck and changed into what was their fourth getaway vehicle – a Cadillac.
An officer spotted the Cadillac in the parking lot of the motel, which is based just across from Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office.
A taskforce began surveillance on the motel and witnessed the suspects leaving, getting into the vehicle and driving away.
Law enforcement officers followed the car and the fugitives led officers on a brief police chase.
The pursuit ended when officers rammed the couple’s car off the road into a ditch.
White surrendered to authorities while Ms White suffered a gunshot wound to the head.
Dramatic police footage, released on Tuesday, shows White being cuffed and detained by officers while Ms White’s limp body is pulled from the vehicle, with the gun still in her hand.
The coroner said on Tuesday that the corrections officer had died by suicide from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Officials also released a 911 call made from the fugitives’ car during the chase, where the 56-year-old is heard saying they should “get out and run” moments before she is said to have shot herself.
White is now back behind bars in Alabama after he was transported back from Indiana on Tuesday night.
He appeared in Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence where he was charged with escape in the first degree.
As he was led in and out of the courthouse he ignored members of the media who asked him if he had any remorse for the death of the woman who gave up her home, job and life to go on the run with him.
Sheriff Wedding said at a press conference on Tuesday that White had shown no remorse for Ms White’s death.
His latest charge will be added to an already long rap sheet, as he is scheduled to stand trial in June for the 2015 stabbing murder of 58-year-old mother Connie Ridgeway – a crime he has previously confessed to.
He is already serving a 75-year sentence after being convicted of a crime spree where he tried to kill his ex-girlfriend and shot another woman.
A nationwide manhunt was first launched back on 29 April when Ms White picked the inmate up from Lauderdale County jail claiming that she was taking him for a mental health evaluation at Lauderdale County Courthouse.
She told her coworkers that once she had escorted him to court she was going to seek medical attention for herself as she felt unwell.
The pair never arrived at the courthouse and White had no scheduled court appearance or appointments that day.
Several hours later, the alarm was raised when Ms White failed to return to the jail and could not be reached by her colleagues.
With Ms White now dead, many questions remain unanswered around both the shock prison escape and the alleged suicide of the 56-year-old widow who had a two-decades-long “exemplary” career.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said that the couple had been in what he described as a “jailhouse romance” or “special relationship” for the last two years.
Ms White had also sold her home just five weeks earlier for well below its market value, withdrew $90,000 in cash from her bank accounts and filed for retirement days before the pair vanished.
Her last day of work was the day she disappeared, though her retirement papers had not been finalised.
After selling her home, she moved in with her mother who previously said that she knew nothing about her daughter’s plans to retire and had never heard her speak of White.
In the early aftermath of the prison escape, Ms White was described as an “exemplary employee” who had repeatedly won employee of the year awards.