Woman Home After Abduction by Escaped Ionia Inmate

BELDING, Mich. – The woman abducted by escaped prisoner Michael Elliot is now safe and sound at home.

Cheryl Vanwormer returned home with her husband Mike Vanwormer around 1pm Monday. Mike drove her home after speaking with investigators, and says they are both very tired. Cheryl walked straight inside their home to get some much needed rest.

“Yes, it’s been a long day and a half. So as soon as we figure everything out, let the police do what they’re doing, and go from there. How am I feeling? Tired! Just flat out tired and glad I got her home,” says Mike.

Mike says he is so proud of his strong wife and called her “pretty tough.” He says she works for the U.S. Census Bureau, adding that they’ve talked about what to do in dangerous situations, but this is the first time anything like this has happened.

Cheryl told police she was out doing her job Sunday, checking on the residency of a home in Ionia, when Michael Elliot abducted her. Cheryl also told police Elliot was armed with a hammer and box-cutter.

“I mean you’ve got to figure pretty much with the ordeal she’s been through that it’s been pretty rough on her. Then of course, like I said spending all the time talking to police. So now it’s just a matter of seeing if they can catch him,” says Mike.

Several of Mike and Cheryl’s neighbors say they’re shocked this happened to Cheryl, but they’re not surprised she’s home ok. They call her amazing.

“I knew she was smart. It’s just amazing that she was able to keep her cell phone in her pocket and get out right away and get to the bathroom and wait it out,” says Rob Salik, a neighbor.

“Cheryl is not home she’s a woman that would take care of herself, she’s not I’ll I’ll cowering wallflower anything and so it doesn’t surprise me that she would take it on her own to find a way out of the situation,” says Dr. Dan Tift, a neighbor.

“Hopefully nobody ends up in the same situation and whomever this individual is, is apprehended and he doesn’t do any harm to anybody else. He let her know all the possibilities, he pretty much threatened her. But she did alright,” adds Mike.

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