Manhunt for escaped murderer from Ionia prison

A gas station in Pleasant View was opening the business and called police after she thought she saw Elliot, WSMV reports

Police are on the hunt for an escaped murderer from the Ionia Correctional Facility.

Michael Elliot

, 40, was convicted of four murders, armed robbery, and burning down a home in Gladwin County on August 8, 1993.

The LaGrange County Sheriff's Office said the prison escapee's car was found in Shipshewana, Indiana, according to WOOD-TV.

Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says in an email that Elliot was discovered missing about 9:30 p.m. Sunday. WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reports he apparently escaped through the sally port, a secured area where the prisoners are normally brought into the prisoners.

Marlan says Elliot may have abducted a woman from Ionia using a knife or box cutter and drove to Elkhart, Indiana, where they stopped for gas.

WOOD-TV reports the woman asked the clerk for the business' address, then locked hersle fin the women's bathroom. Elliot bough some water and medicine, and when the woman did not return from the restroom, he left the scene.

The woman than called 911 using a cellphone she had hidden in one of her pockets, WOOD-TV reports. She was found by police just before midnight on Sunday. She was not hurt.

Marlan says Elliot left in her 2004 Jeep Liberty with Michigan license plate 5FTG55.

Elliot is described as 5-foot-8, 165-pound, white male with brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing black pants, a white T-shirt and a blue hooded sweatshirt.

WSMV in Nashville reported Monday morning that he may be in the Nashville area. An employee at a gas station in Pleasant View was opening the business and called police after she thought she saw Elliot, WSMV reports. Police are now saying that report is false.

Authorities are asking anyone who may see him not to approach him and to call 911, instead.

Elliot was being held on five life-sentences. He was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery, MDOC records show.

©Elliot broke into a home in Gladwin County in the morning hours of Aug. 8, 1993 and killed four people - Vickie Currie, Michael Teffnell, Bruce Squires Tuffnel Jr., and Kathy Lane. He then set the house on fire.

Elliot maintains his innocence, WOOD-TV reports.