The Alabama jail guard who killed herself after helping an inmate escape had been voted “employee of the year” and was set to receive the award next week, Newsweek reports.
She had received the award four times previously, with Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton describing her as an “exemplary employee . . . [with] an unblemished record” before the escape, according to NewsNation.
White, 56, allegedly helped inmate Casey White escape from the Lauderdale County Jail in Alabama; the two were on the run for 11 days before police found them in Indiana on Monday.
The pair have the same last name but are not related; they were reportedly in a romantic relationship.
Vicky White died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Monday during a police chase.
Singleton, the sheriff, told the New York Post that Vicky White had been well respected in the jail, which her multiple awards reflect.
“That speaks volumes in terms of what her peers and subordinates thought of her,” Singleton told the newspaper. “I think it just shows the kind of person that we thought she was. No one that worked with her and knows her ever saw anything like this coming.”
According to Newsweek, Singleton had previously said of Vicky White, “I guess we’re trying to hold on to that last straw of hope that maybe for some reason she was threatened and did this under coercion . . . but absolutely you’d feel betrayed [otherwise]. All of her co-workers are devastated. We’ve never had any situation like this with Vicky White. She was a model employee.”
The awards are an annual tradition at the jail and were scheduled for next week, but they have been postponed considering what’s happened. The runner-up will receive the award this year, according to the Post.
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[Featured image: Vicky White and Casey Cole White/Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office]