IONIA COUNTY, Mich. –Investigators say that escaped inmate Michael Elliot abducted a woman and made her drive him to Indiana following his escape Sunday from the Ionia Correctional Facility.
He abducted the woman using a box cutter or knife, according to officials. She escaped after they pulled over for gas in an Elkhart County, Ind., and is safe.
Police made contact with the woman at the gas station at about 11:50 p.m. Sunday.
Elliot, 40, is not in custody.
Police say he may be driving a 2004 red Jeep Liberty with license plate 5FTG55. The car has Bugs Bunny and Tasmanian Devil decals.
The Ionia Department of Public Safety announced Sunday that he had escaped.
He was being tracked within Ionia County by state and local police with K-9 units and a helicopter, but the investigation now crosses state lines.
Elliot was serving a life sentence for multiple first-degree murder convictions from 1994, as well as arson and armed robbery.
Sources close to the investigation tell FOX 17 that they discovered a hole in a fence on the grounds of the facility at about 9:30 p.m. and believe that is how Elliot escaped.
Elliot is 5 feet 8 inches tall and 165 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, in the past he has gone by the names Michael D. Delarosa, Michael David Delarosa and Michael David Shreader.
Ionia Public Safety initially posted that two inmates had escaped the jail but later revised that statement and said that only Elliot had escaped.
Ionia Public Schools will be in session Monday, according to public safety. Initially they told police they were monitoring the investigation with Elliot and would determine whether or not to open.
Anyone with information on Elliot’s whereabouts should contact Ionia Public Safety at 616-527-4431 or Silent Observer at 616-527-0107.