An alert on Elliot has been issued to law enforcement nationwide. The woman told police that he said he wanted to get as far from the Michigan prison as possible.
"We had dog teams. We had a helicopter from the state police," Heyns said. "The response was good but he'd left the area by the time we were mobilized totally 100 percent. It didn't take him long to get down to Indiana. ... His flight path now has expanded dramatically."
Nothing in his record suggested he might escape, Heyns said.
"He had no assistance. This was an entirely one-man operation," the prisons chief said.
Elliot was serving life behind bars for fatally shooting four people and burning down their Gladwin County house in 1993 when he was 20 years old, according to court records. Elliot and his accomplices were trying to steal money from a drug dealer, police said.
He was arrested a few days later in possession of a gun that was tied to the slayings. One of Elliot's co-defendants testified against him, saying he laughed about shooting the victims in the head.
Elliot was convicted of first-degree murder in 1994 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Measures have been taken to tighten security at the prison, Heyns said. Marlan said all other prisoners at the Ionia Correctional Facility were accounted for.
Police ask that people share this information on Facebook to help spread the word.
Police caution, if located, do not approach Elliot. Contact 911 immediately. Elliot should be considered armed and dangerous.