State Police Will Use Two-Pronged Approach In Prison Escape Investigation

Posted at 9:37 AM, Feb 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-03 12:50:28-05

Surveillance photo of Michael Eliot at Indiana gas station.

IONIA, Mich. — The Michigan State Police will conduct two investigations in the escape of convicted murderer Michael Elliot, into his escape and into his abduction of an Ionia woman.

In a short press conference Monday morning, Michigan State Police Lt. Troy Allen said they do not believe Elliot is in the state. Elliot escaped from an Ionia prison “somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 or 7” Sunday evening, said Ionia Public Safety Chief Troy Thomas. The convicted murderer went into Ionia on foot and carjacked a woman. The next time he was seen was at a gas station in Lagrange County, Ind., where the woman escaped.

Elliot’s last known location was in the red 2004 Jeep Liberty on the Indiana Toll Road Interstate 80/90. It was not known which directed he was going, said Lt. Allen.

Chief Thomas said Ionia Public Safety will conduct a “long and careful analysis” of what he called the “weaknesses” in the system that may have led to l escape.

“Our primary focus is public safety,” he said. But Elliot “had a clean institutional record … There was nothing in this man’s record that indicated he was a threat” up until Sunday night.

Elliot was wearing what Thomas described as “kitchen whites,” which may have contributed to Elliot’s ability to evade security. Other than that, he refused for the moment to get into the specifics of the escape.