LaGrange County Sheriff's officers and other local law enforcement officers have asked that all Shipshewana residents stay locked inside their home and answer only to a police officer.
Police are searching for Michael David Elliot, 40, an escapee from the Ionia Michigan Correctional Facility.
A car he stole was found in Shipshewana this morning. The schools in the area are already on lockdown.
Here's more on that story:
The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department said on its Facebook page that the suspect vehicle from an abduction and prison escape has been located in Shipshewana.
People are asked to avoid the area. Westview Schools have been notified to lock down.
A man convicted of four 1993 murders has escaped from the Ionia Michigan Correctional Facility.
Michael David Elliot, a 40-year-old, 5-foot, 8-inch tall, 165-pound white male with brown hair and brown eyes and wearing a blue and orange state prison uniform, escaped Sunday night.
Elliot was discovered missing about 9:30 p.m. Sunday from the Ionia Correctional Facility in mid-Michigan, the Michigan Department of Corrections said.
"It appears that he created a hole at the bottom of the two perimeter fences of the correctional facility and then crawled through those holes," Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said in an email.
Department Director Dan Heyns said Elliot was dressed in a white kitchen uniform, which might have helped him evade security at the prison. A review of surveillance footage suggests Elliot may have escaped about 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.
According to LaGrange County Sheriff's Department officers, Elliot forced his way into a Red 2004 Jeep Liberty with Michigan license plate “5FTG55” sitting outside a residence on in Ionia, Mich., being driven by a female at approximately 8 p.m.
Elliot was armed with a hammer and a box cutter knife and threatened to cut the female, police said.
They traveled into the Middlebury area where they stopped at a Gallop’s gas station along Ind. 13 to get fuel. The woman who had a cell phone hidden from Elliot, called 911 while he was pumping gas and the call was received by LaGrange County 911 dispatchers, police said.