Chesterton Tribune



Charges filed against escaped Michigan prisoner

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IONIA, Mich. (AP) - A convicted killer captured in a stolen car in Indiana after a daring one-day escape from a Michigan prison has been charged with kidnapping and other crimes, officials said Tuesday.

The charges were filed in Ionia County, Mich., while police were hunting for Michael David Elliot, who was arrested Monday night in LaPorte County, Ind., more than 150 miles from the Ionia Correctional Facility.

Elliot, 40, was charged with escape, kidnapping and carjacking, according to the Ionia County District Court. He is accused of escaping through two prison fences Sunday night and then stealing a Jeep with a woman inside while armed with a box cutter.

The woman escaped when they stopped for gas in Elkhart County, Ind. The Jeep was later found abandoned in nearby Shipshewana, Ind. By evening, Elliot was captured in another stolen vehicle in LaPorte County, Ind.

Michigan now will seek to extradite Elliot.

The woman whom Elliot abducted was able to call 911 from a concealed cellphone while Elliot was pumping gas at the store near Middlebury, Ind.

In the 911 call, the woman calmly tells the dispatcher her location and says she has been abducted.

“I’m hostage to an escaped convict from Ionia Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich.,” the woman says, according to a recording of the 911 call.

On the dispatcher’s advice, she ran to a restroom and locked herself inside. Elliot knocked on the door, but the woman stayed locked in there until police arrived.

Authorities then launched a door-to-door hunt of the area, but didn’t track Elliot down until hours later after getting a report of a car stolen from a factory in the city of LaPorte, said sheriff’s Maj. John Boyd. A deputy who happened to be nearby spotted the Chevrolet Monte Carlo “within a few seconds,” he said.

Elliot tried to run but he was arrested and taken to jail, where he was being held without bond, Boyd said.



Posted 2/4/2014