Corrections Officials Discuss Ionia Inmate Escape

Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-04 04:12:41-05

IONIA, Mich. — There are still a lot of unanswered questions in the community of Ionia. For an area built on prisons, residents are wondering how something like Michael Elliot’s escape could have happened.

It all started around 9 p.m. Sunday during a routine inmate check at the Ionia Correctional Facility when they realized Elliot, 40, wasn’t there.  After an internal sweep is when they realized he was no longer in the facility.

Michigan Department of Corrections officials say Elliot escaped through a “vulnerable” part in the fencing. It appears he created a hole at the bottom of two perimeter fences and crawled through, they say.

MDOC Director, Dan Heyns, says Elliot was wearing ‘kitchen whites;’ he says Elliot doesn’t work in the kitchen and likely got them from another inmate.

Heyns says, though, they believe Elliot worked alone.

“I will be demanding a very thorough investigation,” Heyns said during a press conference Monday. “It’s obvious there was some flaws in our security, and we need to assess what those are, and we’ve already made a number of corrections over the evening hours to make sure this is a tight and secure facility.”