The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 3, 2014

Officials: Convicted murderer escapes Mich. prison


The Mankato Free Press

---- — IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A convicted murderer serving life behind bars in Michigan for four 1993 slayings is at large after he escaped from prison and apparently abducted a woman who fled his grips when he stopped for gas in Indiana, authorities said Monday.

Michael David Elliot, 40, was discovered missing about 9:30 p.m. Sunday from the Ionia Correctional Facility in mid-Michigan, Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said in an email.

"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," Marlan said.

Elliot apparently abducted a woman from Ionia using a knife or box cutter and drove to Elkhart, Ind., roughly 100 miles southwest of Ionia near the Indiana-Michigan state line. The woman escaped when they stopped at a gas station, and she called police, Marlan said. He provided no information about the condition or identity of the woman, nor if she had any previous connection to Elliot.

Elliot left the gas station and was at large Monday morning, Marlan said. MDOC did not release information about where Elliot might be heading or if he has out-of-state connections. He was serving life sentences for first-degree murder and has convictions for arson and armed robbery.

"Citizens should immediately call 911 if they observe anything suspicious or possibly become aware of the whereabouts of ... Elliot," Marlan said in the email.

Officers from the Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies are involved in the hunt for Elliot.

An emergency count was conducted at the Ionia Correctional Facility and all other prisoners have been accounted for, Marlan said.