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Corrections department report says a variety of factors responsible for Ionia inmate escape

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

LANSING, MI (WTVB) - Michigan Department of Corrections officials say faulty equipment, a crafty escape plan, human error and dumb luck all helped convicted murderer Michael Elliot escape from the Ionia State Prison Facility on Super Bowl Sunday. The final report says an outfit made from white thermal underwear helped him stay undetected and warm as he made his way out of the prison, blending in with the snow.  They say a fence alarm system had been disabled for years, and microwave sensors had been left in the off position after they were tested earlier that afternoon. It was the failure to promptly reset those sensors that resulted in the suspension of two jail staffers. 

The report says guards were not distracted by the Super Bowl, but may have not been at their assigned stations because of a pot luck dinner. Once he was out Elliot carjacked a woman and got as far as northern Indiana before he was recaptured a day later. Corrections officials say they have an 11-point plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

 

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