Officials: Escaped Mich. prisoner captured in Indiana - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:55:10 GMT
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:33:46 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
  • Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:27:05 GMT
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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