Escaped Convicted Killer Captured After Prison Break

Police said Michael David Elliot abducted a woman and drove her Jeep to a gas station in northern Indiana

Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014  |  Updated 12:07 AM EDT
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Hear the 911 call a woman made after she was kidnapped by an escaped prisoner who is serving time for committing four murders.

Hear the 911 call a woman made after she was kidnapped by an escaped prisoner who is serving time for committing four murders.

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Police say a convicted killer who made a brazen escape from a Michigan prison has been captured in Indiana.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Ron Galaviz says Michael David Elliot, 40, was captured Monday evening in LaPorte County, Indiana.

Galaviz says a sheriff's deputy investigating a vehicle theft spotted the stolen automobile and tried to make a stop. The suspect ran, but authorities were able to capture him.

Authorities say Elliott peeled a hole in two fences with his hands to escape from the Ionia Correctional Facility on Sunday night. They say he then abducted a woman and fled to Indiana, where the victim and her vehicle were safely recovered.

Elliot, who was convicted in four murders, was discovered missing about 9:30 p.m. Sunday from the Ionia Correctional Facility in Michigan, the state Department of Corrections said.

Department Director Dan Heyns said Elliot was dressed in a white kitchen uniform, which might have helped him blend in with snow and evade security at the prison. A review of surveillance footage suggests Elliot may have escaped about 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.

Once outside the prison, Elliot abducted a woman in Ionia using a knife or box cutter and drove her Jeep to a gas station in northern Indiana, roughly 100 miles southwest of Ionia near the Indiana-Michigan state line.

The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department said she was able to call 911 from a concealed cellphone while he was pumping gas at the store near Middlebury in Elkhart County.

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 the news conference.

Elliot was serving life behind bars for four slayings in 1993 and has convictions for arson and armed robbery. Nothing in his record suggested he might escape, Heyns said.

"He had no assistance. This was an entirely one-man operation," the prisons chief said.

Measures have been taken to tighten security at the prison, Heyns said. Marlan said all other prisoners at the Ionia Correctional Facility were accounted for.

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