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Police: Escapee used mattress stuffing to simulate sleeping body

A county jail inmate is still on the run after deputies say he “meticulously” dismantled his jail cell window

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Ingham County Sheriff’s Office

John Tunison

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. — A man still on the run after escaping the Ingham County Jail “meticulously” dismantled a window and angle iron to get out, then is believed to have stolen an area pickup, police said.

Police continue to look for 32-year-old Michael David McKerchie.

McKerchie, police said, took what appeared to be elaborate steps prior to making the escape, including taking apart a mattress and using the stuffing to simulate his sleeping body.

McKerchie had been in jail since Sept. 21 for auto theft, among other felonies.

Authorities updated details about McKerchie and the escape late Friday, Nov. 13. In the update, they said outdoor surveillance video at the jail shows a person running near the 55th District Court at 11:23 p.m. Thursday.

Police believe the person was McKerchie.

He is believed to have stolen a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado – blue-green in color, with a two-door extended cab and plate number DRW-9448 — located a few miles from the jail. The vehicle has a unique Deer-Fish hook decal on the driver side rear window and a tonneau cover on the bed.

The house from where the truck was stolen also had surveillance video that showed someone police believe was McKerchie.

Detectives believe McKerchie might be headed to Battle Creek, Otsego or Indiana.

Ingham County sheriff’s investigators said a corrections deputy at 5:46 a.m. Friday found that McKerchie was not in his cell. Deputies soon determined that McKerchie had dismantled a mattress and arraigned the padding to simulate his sleeping body.

They also learned he had meticulously disassembled a daylight window and the angle iron used to frame it. He was able to escape through the window.

State and federal authorities are helping to look for McKerchie. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911.

(c)2020, Walker, Mich.