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Police: Michigan escaped prisoner captured

Hunt For Escaped Murderer Ends In Foot Chase And Capture

IONIA, IONIA, Mich. (AP) - A convicted killer who peeled a hole in two fences with his hands to escape from a Michigan prison before abducting a woman and fleeing to Indiana was captured Monday evening after a chase, authorities said.

Officials were stunned by the brazen escape Sunday night of Michael David Elliot, who had a record of good behavior during his 20 years in custody. He wore a white civilian kitchen uniform to evade security and blend in with snow at the Ionia Correctional Facility in western Michigan, prisons spokesman Russ Marlan said.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Ron Galaviz said Elliot was captured in LaPorte County after a police chase.

That chase began after authorities there got a report of a vehicle stolen from a factory in the city of LaPorte, said sheriff's Maj. John Boyd. A deputy who happened to be nearby spotted the vehicle "within a few seconds," Boyd said.

Authorities chased the vehicle through the city and into a rural area of Kankakee Township several miles away, where law enforcement used stop sticks to disable it.

Boyd said Elliot was arrested and taken to the LaPorte County Jail.

How exactly Elliot was able to get out of the Ionia prison remains unclear. Fences were equipped with motion sensors to alert guards. The fences also carry electric current to shock anyone that touches them.

"It appears that did not happen. ... He was not zapped with electricity, and he was not picked up by the motion sensors," Marlan said.

Once outside the prison, Elliot, 40, abducted a woman and stole her Jeep. The woman, who was not hurt, escaped late Sunday when he stopped for gas in Middlebury, Ind., some 100 miles to the south. The woman's red Jeep was found abandoned nearby in Shipshewana on Monday.

At least one school was locked down, residents were warned to stay inside and officers went door-to-door in the area.

An alert was issued to law enforcement nationwide. The woman told police that Elliot was armed with a box cutter and a hammer and had said he wanted to get as far from the Michigan prison as possible.

"We had dog teams. We had a helicopter from the state police," said Michigan Corrections Department Director Dan Heyns. "The response was good, but he'd left the area by the time we were mobilized totally 100 percent. It didn't take him long to get down to Indiana. ... His flight path now has expanded dramatically."

Nothing in Elliot's record suggested he might escape, said Heyns, who added, "This is entirely a one-man operation."

The woman who was abducted was able to call 911 from a concealed cellphone while Elliott was pumping gas at the store near Middlebury in Elkhart County, Ind., authorities said. She ran to a restroom and locked herself inside. Elliot knocked on the door, but she stayed inside until police arrived.

Elliot was discovered missing from the prison about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, probably 2 ½ hours after he escaped by using his hands to create a hole in two fences, Marlan said.

"There was a perimeter vehicle with an armed officer who was circling the facility during this time period. (Elliot) was able to evade or avoid detection," Marlan said.

He said it wasn't immediately known if electronic security measures at the fence were not working or if Elliot somehow avoided them.

Elliot was serving life in prison without parole 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 and had a gun that tied him 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.

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IGM Henry Garcia February 04 2014 at 2:02 PM

Solitary confinement for a Looooooonnnnnngggg tiiiiimmmmmme!! LONG!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
sef69 February 04 2014 at 9:10 AM

Really the cops could not have done the taxpayers a favor and just wasted him once and for all

Flag Reply +4 rate up
sdhol6252 February 04 2014 at 8:41 AM

Wasn't detected by motion sensors and avoided electric shocks? Time to zap him with volts he can't escape from

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1 reply
aaldrew sdhol6252 February 04 2014 at 9:12 AM

Or hang him. Or shoot him.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
WINNER!!!!!! February 04 2014 at 8:25 AM

.....planned..yes..right during the Super Bowl when all the Guards were distracted from their Jobs..my guess..just sayin

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Bruce Clark February 04 2014 at 8:23 AM

This is why CONVITED MURDERERS should be put to death. What if he had killed someone else after he escaped? It's time to put a stop to caring more about the rights of CONVITED MURDERERS and more about public safety. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
2 replies
jbraidedbeauty1 Bruce Clark February 04 2014 at 8:50 AM

PREACH!! you are so right, look at the rapist , most of them get a slap on the wrist,, look at that phillip garrido moron,, he didnt even serve all his sentence,got out and held that girl captive for 18 years and she had 2 kids by him.. shock sundrome my foot .. no way in west h*ll would i have not gotten away from that nut case in 18 years.. but thats htem ,, these sickos need the desalth penalty but another man will go to jail for 20 years for some damn marijuana.. now every dan body and their mama is smoking it (out in the open) they were smokin git before,just like liquor , it would nt be such a ho comodity if it wasnt folks buying it and DUI's kill a heck of a lot of innocent people. This justice is effed up, the justice system is unfair and folks have the nerve to compare the stats on what race is in jail ans what race isnt! Wake up people we all know its unfair... look at the color of the men who are being let out of jail after 20 years because their DNA didnt now match!

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rcb8181 Bruce Clark February 04 2014 at 8:57 AM


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jff349 February 04 2014 at 8:22 AM

Killed 4 people, at 20 years old and he is still alive why? What a waste of money to house, feed and provide medical attention to someone who committed that kind of crime and who will never be released - execute him and save the taxpayers money!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
blonde177783 February 04 2014 at 8:17 AM

Thank goodness the lady was not harmed.
Glad they got him.......he could have killed again.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
beliorao29 February 04 2014 at 7:58 AM

Mr elliot may God have mercy on your soul

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Eric February 04 2014 at 9:29 AM

Dang...I was hoping he'd rob the wrong person and die for his efforts. He has no reason to live nor do we the taxpayers want the expensive of prosecution for this escape. Then again, he's already in for life so do we even need a trial?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
waltwenz Eric February 04 2014 at 9:47 AM

We don't need a trial, but a lot of sheister lawyers are waiting to
get paid with the taxpayers money.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
goodtimes_27 February 04 2014 at 1:46 AM

That is one creepy lookin' dude!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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