IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A convicted killer who peeled a hole in two fences with his hands to escape from a Michigan prison before abducting a woman and fleeing to Indiana was captured Monday evening after a chase, authorities said.
Officials were stunned by the brazen escape Sunday night of Michael David Elliot, who had a record of good behavior during his 20 years in custody. He wore a white 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 captured in LaPorte County after a police chase.
That chase began after authorities there got 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 stolen Chevrolet Monte Carlo "within a few seconds," Boyd said.
Authorities chased the car through the city and into a rural area of Kankakee Township several miles away, where law enforcement used stop sticks to disable the vehicle.
Boyd said Elliot tried to flee but was arrested and taken to the LaPorte County Jail, where he was being held without bond. No injuries resulted from the chase, authorities said. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Department said Elliot faces charges there of motor vehicle theft and resisting law enforcement
Marlan said late Monday that Michigan would immediately begin the extradition process.
How exactly Elliot was able to get out of the Michigan prison remains unclear. Fences 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, authorities said. 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.