40-year-old Michael Elliot escaped from the Ionia Correctional Facility sometime Sunday evening. Prison officials performed inmate checks at 1p.m. And 9:15p.m., and he disappeared during that window, likely around 7p.m.
After escaping, he carjacked a woman using a knife or box cutter. He held her hostage during the more than 100 mile drive to Elkhart County. They stopped for gas around 11p.m. at a Marathon gas station near the intersection of SR 13 and CR 2 near Middlebury. The woman escaped Elliot at the station by asking for a cup for water, then locking herself in the bathroom and calling 911.
He is described as a 5’8, 165-pound white male with brown hair and eyes. Elliot was wearing a blue and orange state prison uniform when he escaped, but he was last seen in black pants a white t-shirt.
Elliot is believed to be driving a red 2004 Jeep Liberty with Michigan License Plate 5FTG55. Police believe he has enough fuel to get about 100 miles. Police do not know where he might be headed, but they say he has family in Tennessee.
According to Grand Rapids-based WOOD-TV, Elliot was serving five life sentences for four murders and an armed robbery. He was convicted in 1993. He was also serving 13 years for setting a house on fire and two years for using a firearm during the commission of a felony.
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