Multiple murderer escapes from Michigan prison

Michael David Elliot

IONIA, Mich. -- A man serving life behind bars for murder in four 1993 deaths in Michigan has escaped from prison and apparently abducted a woman who then got away in Indiana, authorities said Monday. 

Michael David Elliot, 40, was discovered missing about 9:30 p.m. Sunday from the Ionia Correctional Facility in mid-Michigan, Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said in an email. 

Elliot may have abducted a woman from Ionia using a knife or box cutter and drove to Elkhart, Ind., roughly 100 miles southwest of Ionia and near the Indiana-Michigan state line, where they stopped for gas. The woman escaped at the gas station and called police, Marlan said.

The gas attendant at the station told CBS Kalamazoo, Mich. affiliate WWMT he didn't believe there was anything suspicious when the pair came in. He says the woman asked for the gas station's address while Elliot was pumping gas. She then locked herself in the bathroom until police arrived. Elliot drove off. The woman wasn't injured. 

Police made contact with the woman about 11:50 p.m. Sunday. Elliot left the gas station and was at large Monday morning, Marlan said. 

"Citizens should immediately call 911 if they observe anything suspicious or possibly become aware of the whereabouts of ... Elliot," Marlan said in the email. 

Officers from the Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies are searching for Elliot. 

According to the MDOC, Elliot is serving life sentences for first-degree murder. He also has convictions for arson and armed robbery. He is considered armed and dangerous. 

An emergency count was conducted at the Ionia Correctional Facility and all other prisoners have been accounted for, Marlan said.