Michael David Elliot
IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A convicted murderer who slipped out of a Michigan prison Sunday, sparking a multi-state manhunt, has been captured in Northwest Indiana, reports CBS affilliate WBBM in Chicago.
Michael David Elliot, 40, who had been convicted of killing four people, was taken into custody, the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to CBS 2.
Eliot was discovered missing from the Ionia Correctional facility in Central Michigan around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. He was next spotted at a gas station in Elkhart, Ind., where a woman he kidnapped got away.
Monday afternoon, her jeep was found abandoned in Shipshewana, near South Bend, Ind.
Police say Elliot, 40, escaped from the Ionia Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan Sunday night. They say Elliot carjacked and abducted a woman and fled in her Jeep. The woman was able to escape when they stopped for gas at a gas station in Middlebury, Indiana, roughly 100 miles southwest of Ionia near the Indiana-Michigan state line, where his image was captured on surveillance camera.
Shipshewana, where the Jeep was discovered abandoned, is less than ten miles away from the gas station in Middlebury.
Police say Elliot was discovered missing from the central Michigan prison around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the state Department of Corrections. WWMT reports he escaped several hours earlier, between 6 and 7 p.m.
Elliot was wearing a white prison kitchen suit when he escaped, reports the station, though he did not work in the kitchen. Officers reportedly suspect the outfit may have aided in his escape.
From the prison yard, "it appears that he created a hole at the bottom of the two perimeter fences of the correctional facility and then crawled through those holes," Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said in an email.
Once outside the prison, Elliot abducted a woman in Ionia using a knife or box cutter and drove with her in her Jeep to the gas station in northern Indiana.
The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department said she was able to call 911 from a concealed cellphone while he was pumping gas.
The woman ran to a restroom where she locked herself inside. Elliot knocked on the door, but she stayed inside until police officers arrived. She wasn't harmed, officials said at a news conference.
Elliot was serving life behind bars for fatally shooting four people and burning down their Gladwin County house in 1993 when he was 20 years old, according to court records. Elliot and his accomplices were trying to steal money from a drug dealer, police said.
He was arrested a few days later in possession of a gun that was tied to the slayings. One of Elliot's co-defendants testified against him, saying he laughed about shooting the victims in the head.
Elliot was convicted of first-degree murder in 1994 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
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