Officials: Escaped Mich. prisoner captured in Indiana - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Officials: Escaped Mich. prisoner captured in Indiana

Posted: Updated:
Elliot at the gas station in Ind. on Monday Elliot at the gas station in Ind. on Monday
Elliot at the gas station in Ind. on Monday Elliot at the gas station in Ind. on Monday

(WJBK) - Officials from the LaPorte County, Indiana Sheriff's Office confirm to FOX 2 the escaped Michigan prisoner Michael David Elliot is in their custody at the LaPorte County jail.

Officials were stunned by the brazen escape Sunday night of 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 in LaPorte County, Ind. when a sheriff's deputy investigating a vehicle theft tried to make a traffic stop. The suspect ran, but authorities were able to capture him.
 
Fences at the Ionia prison 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 1/2 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.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:56:25 GMT
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
  • Royal Oak fire crew forced to watch house burn waiting for DTE

    Royal Oak fire crew forced to watch house burn waiting for DTE

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:47:18 GMT
    Roberta Erxleben has lived in her house for 30 years and says her garage would not have been destroyed Sunday had DTE responded to another electric fire sooner.
    Roberta Erxleben has lived in her house for 30 years and says her garage would not have been destroyed Sunday had DTE responded to another electric fire sooner.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices