The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

February 3, 2014

Convicted murderer escapes from Michigan prison

Intense manhunt was underway Monday night

(Continued)

"We had dog teams. We had a helicopter from the state police," said Michigan Corrections Department Director Dan Heyns. "The response was good, but he'd left the area by the time we were mobilized totally 100 percent. It didn't take him long to get down to Indiana. ... His flight path now has expanded dramatically."

Nothing in Elliot's record suggested he might escape, said Heyns, who added, "This is entirely a one-man operation."

The woman who was abducted was able to call 911 from a concealed cellphone while Elliott was pumping gas at the store near Middlebury in Elkhart County, Ind., authorities said. She ran to a restroom and locked herself inside. Elliot knocked on the door, but she stayed inside until police arrived.

Elliot was discovered missing from the prison about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, probably 2 ½ hours after he escaped by using his hands to create a hole in two fences, Marlan said.

"There was a perimeter vehicle with an armed officer who was circling the facility during this time period. (Elliot) was able to evade or avoid detection," Marlan said.

He said it wasn't immediately known if electronic security measures at the fence were not working or if Elliot somehow avoided them.

Elliot was serving life in prison without parole for fatally shooting four people and burning down their Gladwin County house in 1993 when he was 20 years old, according to court records. Elliot and his accomplices were trying to steal money from a drug dealer, police said.

He was arrested a few days later and had a gun that tied him to the slayings. One of Elliot's co-defendants testified against him, saying he laughed about shooting the victims in the head.

Elliot was convicted of first-degree murder in 1994.

— The Associated Press

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