LAGRANGE COUNTY – The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department has suspended its search for convicted murder and prison escapee Michael David Elliot in Shipshewana after it proved to be unsuccessful.
The order for people to stay inside of their homes has been retracted, officials said.
Westview Schools were on lockdown and the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department asked residents in and near Shipshewana to stay inside Monday afternoon, Feb. 3, as they searched for Elliot, who escaped from a prison in Michigan late Sunday night.
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.
Police say Elliot abducted a woman from Ionia using a knife or box cutter and drove to Elkhart County, Ind., roughly 100 miles southwest of Ionia near the Indiana-Michigan state line. The woman escaped when they stopped at a gas station, and she called police, Marlan said. Elliot left the gas station in the woman's vehicle and remains at large.
At approximately 12:33 p.m. Monday, the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department sent out an advisory that stated, "Suspect vehicle located in Shipshewana. Please avoid area. Westview Schools notified to lock down."
That advisory was followed by another at 1:57 p.m. "Residents in Shipshewana and surrounding areas: Lock your residences and stay indoors. Only answer door for law enforcement," it said.