IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — It took nearly an hour for a convicted murderer to escape from the Ionia Correctional facility, Michigan State Police told a judge when requesting an arrest warrant for Michael Elliot while he remained on the lam.
Elliot, 40, escaped Sunday evening and was able to get to LaPorte, Ind. before his Monday evening arrest.
In sworn testimony, an officer told a judge that Elliot could be seen on surveillance tape beginning his escape around 6 p.m. He was finally able to escape underneath the facility’s outer fence at 6:53 p.m., the officer said.
More than an hour later, he approached a woman and carjacked her, police said, forcing her to go with him as he drove to Indiana. He asked the woman if she had a gun, a knife, a Taser, or a cellphone, Ionia County Prosecutor Ron Schafer told 24 Hour News 8.
The victim lied to the man, keeping her cellphone concealed in a pocket. She later used it to call 911 once she had locked herself into a bathroom at a Middlebury, Ind. gas station.
Elliot stole her car and abandoned it in Shipshewana, Ind. Investigators have said he stole a total of four vehicles while on the run.
Most major correctional facilities have the ability to monitor surveillance cameras. It’s not clear if the cameras that captured Elliot’s escaped were being watched.
Charges have been filed in Ionia County charging Elliot with the escape, abduction and carjacking — though Schafer said it’s not clear whether his office would seek a conviction on those charges, as Elliot is already serving five life sentences for four 1993 murders.
Schafer said the decision would depend in part on what the victim in the case wanted. Schafer said the woman was upset by the ordeal but had not explicitly said what she wanted to happen with the charges.
On Wednesday, a sign outside her home fended off reporters, stating she would not do interviews because she feared it might compromise the case’s prosecution.
Elliot remains locked up at the LaPorte County Jail on $1 million bond. Officials there said a governor’s warrant had been requested, which would end extradition proceedings and force Elliot back to Michigan.