Detroit Free Press talks to escapee Elliot

Michael David Elliot (Feb. 11, 2013 - courtesy Michigan Department of Corrections)

DETROIT, Mich. (WOOD) – Ionia prison escapee, Michael Elliot, said it was relatively simple to escape the Ionia Correctional Facility last Sunday, according to a phone interview with the Detroit Free Press.

Michael David Elliot, 40, was convicted of four murders back in 1993 and had already spent two decades behind bars before his escape Sunday.

In the interview, he said he planned to go somewhere warm like Arizona or Utah where he would live in the woods and eat whatever he could find.

On the night he escaped, he wore a couple of layers of white thermals underneath a blue uniform and tore the uniform a little bit so he could rip it off easily when diving into the snow, according to Elliot. He also had on white shoes, white gloves, and a white ski mask made from thermal material.

He said he dove into the snow, put on the mask, crawled under a fence. He went to an area where prisoners are transported in and out of the facility and used a leather belt and his hands to unravel the fences to slip through.

He said the sally port gate presented an opportunity unlike the other fences because it didn’t have the coiled barbed wire or electric fence. When a guard drove past him, he laid on his belly, burrowed into the snow, and didn’t move.

He also talked about carjacking the woman in Ionia, saying he didn’t want to bother anybody and looked to see if he could find a car running.

He said he spotted a woman, went up to the car, and said “hey, move over.” He said she responded by saying “No, I’m not doing anything.” He then told her he was convicted of murder and just escaped from prison before getting into her Jeep.

24 Hour News 8 was the first to speak to Elliot after his arraignment in LaPorte, Indiana.

“I fled from Michigan because of my sentence. They didn’t want to give me no second chance. I wasn’t trying to hurt nobody,” said Elliot to 24 Hour News 8.

Michael Elliot leaves a courtroom in LaPorte, Ind. (Feb. 4, 2014)
Michael Elliot leaves a courtroom in LaPorte, Ind. (Feb. 4, 2014)


Elliot  was arrested in Kankakee Township in rural LaPorte County, Ind., and allegedly stole a total of four vehicles in his 24-hour run from the law. He was arraigned Tuesday in Indiana on auto theft charges.

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