NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The secret jailhouse romance between Alabama murder suspect 38-year-old Casey White and highly regarded corrections officer 56-year-old Vicky White set off a nationwide manhunt.

“We found out that during that two-year period from 2020 until now that Vicky White and Casey White did correspond via phone while he was in prison,” said the Lauderdale County Alabama Sheriff Rick Singleton, sharing with ABC News Live his affection for his former employee.

“Vicky worked here for 17 years some of our younger corrections deputies said she was like a mother figure to them,” Singleton said. “What in the world possessed her to go this route we will never know I guess now.”

Initial reports indicate Vicky died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a chase in Evansville, Ind. Monday that ended with a fugitive task force member ramming the side of their getaway vehicle.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Casey White surrendered shortly after asking emergency crews to help his “wife.”

“They were not married,” says Vanderburgh County, Indiana Sheriff Dave Wedding, “They shared the same last name. In our preliminary investigation, we do not believe he shot her but once the coroner examines the body he can make a determination of that.”

Inside the grey Cadillac, investigators discovered a cache of weapons including handguns, semi-automatics, a 9mm and an AR-15, along with Vicky’s corrections officer belt that still had her taser attached.

“He said that he was probably going to have a shootout at the stake of both of them losing their lives,” Wedding said.

Also inside was $29,000 in cash — the remainder of the $90,000 Vicky received from an abrupt sale of her home days before the escape on April 29. The duo had been hiding out for a week at Motel 41 in Evansville where they had prepaid for a 14-day stay.

“They wanted to stop for a while and get their bearings and figure out their next place to travel,” Wedding explained.

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They left a trail of vehicles along the way, including a Ford F-150 reportedly purchased in Tennessee for $6,000 on the day of their escape, presumably after the couple ditched this Ford Edge in Williamson County — which is the SUV they made their escape in. Wedding reiterating this elaborate escapee was jointly planned but when asked if Casey showed any remorse for Vicky’s death the Sheriff responded, “no”.