Michael David Elliot was serving life in prison for four murders in 1993.(Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections)
Gary Strauss, USA TODAY
A nationwide search is underway for a convicted killer who escaped a Michigan prison Sunday, then kidnapped a woman before she fled and alerted authorities.
Michael David Elliot was serving life sentences for four murders in 1993. Ionia Correctional Facility officials said Elliot, 40, appears to have escaped by crawling through a hole in two perimeter fences. Prison officials said he was dressed in a white kitchen uniform, which may have camouflaged him in the snow.
Outside the prison, Elliot reportedly abducted a woman with a knife or box-cutter and drove her vehicle 100 miles to Elkhart, Ind., TV station WZZM in Grand Rapids, Mich., reported. When he stopped to buy $10 worth of gas at a convenience store, the unidentified woman managed to escape and call police shortly before noon Sunday. It's not believed that she knew Elliot, who has also prior arson and armed robbery convictions.
The woman, who stayed in a locked restroom until police arrived, said Elliot said he wanted to flee as far as he could from the prison. Police said she was not injured.
Nashville police have been warned that Elliot could be headed to the area because he has family there, an emergency dispatcher told The Tennessean in Nashville.
Police believe that Elliot is driving a 2004 red Jeep Liberty with license plate 5FTG55. The vehicle also has Bugs Bunny and Tasmanian Devil decals.
Elliot is a white male, 5'8" tall and 165 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He does not have any tattoos or scars. He also goes by the names Michael Delarosa and Michael Shreader. He was serving five life sentences for armed robbery and killing four people in an August 1993 home invasion in Bentley Township, Mich.