Ionia Prison Escape: Michigan Escapee Recaptured by Authorities

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Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 03:17 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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A 40-year-old convicted murderer who escaped from prison in Ionia, Mich., was recaptured Monday night in Indiana just across the state's border.

Michael David Elliot was caught Monday night between 6 and 7 p.m. in a stolen vehicle in LaPorte County, Ind., about 150 miles from the Ionia Correctional Facility, wrote the Detroit News. Elliot, who was serving life sentence for murder, was slapped with the additional charges of kidnapping, carjacking, and escape.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered an investigation into how Elliot escaped from the prison.

"Now that we are assured the public is safe, we will turn our attention to thoroughly reviewing the situation that led to the prisoner's escape," Snyder told the Detroit News. "We will demand an exhaustive assessment of the incident and take whatever appropriate action is needed to prevent future incidents."

Elliot is serving a life sentence for robbery, arson, and the drug-related murder of four people in Gladwin County in 1993. He was convicted in the deaths of Vickie Currie; her boyfriend, Michael Tufnell; his brother Bruce Tufnell; and Kathy Lane in an effort to steal drug money.

Elliot carjacked and abducted a woman Sunday while on the run but she managed to slip away while the vehicle was stopped at a gas station in Elkhart, Ind. The woman locked herself in the station's restroom and called 911, CNN reported.

"He didn't say where, exactly, he just said somewhere far," the woman told the 911 dispatcher, saying that the convict abducted her with a box cutter and a hammer.

The woman's Jeep Liberty was found in Shipshewana, Ind., about 20 miles east of Elkhart, on Monday, sheriff's spokesman Arron Knisley said to CNN. Authorities have not revealed how Elliot was caught.

Michigan corrections director Daniel Heyens said Elliot had a good record while in prison up until Sunday and believe he acted alone.

"Nothing in this man's history would have indicated a high risk of escape," Heyens told CNN. "He was serving his time."

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