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Tools of the escapee's trade: In Michigan prison break, snow-white thermals

By Michael Pearson, CNN
updated 12:02 PM EDT, Sun March 9, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Escapee used snow-colored suit made of thermal underwear to blend in
  • He then pried open two fences to escape, according to Michigan prisons report
  • Motion detectors that should have spotted him weren't working properly, report says
  • After his capture, Michael David Elliot remains in an Indiana jail awaiting extradition

(CNN) -- A convicted murderer who escaped from a Michigan prison on Super Bowl Sunday used snow-white thermal underwear, hobby scissors, his belt and a dose of inattention from prison guards to sneak out, the state Department of Corrections has concluded in a newly released report.

Michael David Elliot ducked away from other prisoners after dinner on February 2, slipped outside and took off an extra-large set of prison blues to reveal a head-to-toe outfit of white clothing he'd crafted from thermal underwear, according to the prison report.

He used the white clothing to blend in with the snow cover at Ionia Correctional Facility in central Michigan as he crawled toward a pair of wire fences separating him from freedom, the report found.

He used a hook he had taken from his locker to dig through the snow, and used the scissors and his belt buckle to pry the wire fencing open and escape.

Motion detectors that should have spotted his presence hadn't been properly reset after an earlier test, so they didn't work, the agency's report said.

Elliot, who was serving four life sentences for a 1994 murder conviction, slipped into woods near the prison after his escape, eventually carjacking a woman who was parked on a city street.

They drove to Elkhart, Indiana, where the woman called police after locking herself in a bathroom when they stopped for gas.

Elliott told the woman that he didn't want to hurt her, he just wanted to get away from Michigan and prison.

Authorities later found Elliot nearby in LaPorte County, Indiana, where he remains awaiting extradition, according to the Michigan corrections department.

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