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Police capture convicted murderer who escaped from Michigan prison

Michael David Elliot, 40, shown in this Michigan Department of Corrections photo, escaped from Ionia Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michiga
Michael David Elliot, 40, shown in this Michigan Department of Corrections photo, escaped from Ionia Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michiga

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - A convicted murderer who escaped from a Michigan prison during Sunday's Super Bowl was recaptured in Indiana on Monday after kidnapping a woman and forcing her to drive to the neighboring state, a corrections official said.

The woman was able to get away and alert police, who later took Michael David Elliot into custody in LaPorte, Indiana, after a car chase, according to a statement by the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department.

A sheriff's deputy spotted Elliot driving alone in a stolen vehicle on Monday evening and tried to stop him, sparking a chase that ended in a rural area of the county where police used spiked sticks to stop Elliot's vehicle.

He was taken into custody after exiting the vehicle and attempting to run, authorities said. He was being held in the LaPorte County Jail without bond, the sheriff's department said.

Elliot escaped the Michigan prison at about 7 p.m. local time on Sunday through perimeter fences at the facility in Ionia, where he was serving four life sentences for 1993 murders, Michigan's corrections department said.

Elliot did not use tools to get through the prison fences, but apparently was able to adjust them with his hands to fit his body through, according to Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan.

Armed with a box cutter knife and a hammer, Elliot kidnapped a woman in Ionia and forced her to travel for about 100 miles before stopping at a gas station in the area of Middlebury, Indiana, according to the LaGrange County sheriff's website.

The woman called police while Elliot was pumping gas, and emergency dispatchers advised her to go inside the gas station and lock herself in the restroom, the statement said. Elliot paid for the gasoline and drove away.

Elliot was convicted of four murders in connection with an armed robbery of a residence in 1993. According to court records, Elliot was also convicted of arson.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz, David Bailey and Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Leslie Adler, Lisa Shumaker and Ken Wills)

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