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Ingham inmate escaped through window, used mattress padding, stolen truck to flee

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

The search for Ingham County Jail inmate Michael McKerchie continues after his escape Friday morning, and police have revealed details on how the man managed to flee.

About 5:45 a.m. Friday, an Ingham County corrections deputy found that McKerchie, 32, had escaped from his cell.

Michael McKerchie, 32, escaped Friday morning Nov. 13 from the Ingham County Jail, the sheriff's office said.

Last week:Inmate who escaped Ingham County Jail has history of fleeing

The day of the escape, Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth declined comment, citing the integrity of the investigation.

But in an update, the sheriff's office offered additional details. The deception involved mattress padding and a small cell window.

To make it look like he was in bed asleep, McKerchie allegedly used the padding from his mattress, the sheriff's office said.

And then, police say, "he escaped by meticulously disassembling a daylight window and the angle iron that was used to frame it."

Later Friday, after the escape, police took a report of a stolen pickup truck, just a few miles from the Ingham County Jail. While combing through home security footage, investigators saw a man they believe to be McKerchie. 

The truck is a 2013 blue-green Chevy Silverado, with Michigan license plate number DRW 9948. Police believe McKerchie may be headed to Battle Creek or Otsego, or even south to Indiana.

The Silverado has a decal of a deer and a fish hook on its back window, police said. 

Police say the stolen Chevy Silverado has a deer-fish hook decal on its back window.

McKerchie's escape came the morning after a hearing in the four-count felony case that landed him in jail: unlawful driving away, resisting or obstructing a police officer, reckless driving causing serious impairment, and failure to stop at the scene of a crash causing serious impairment.

He allegedly stole the vehicle from a Dunkin' Donuts in Okemos.

As WILX-TV reported: "McKerchie arrived at the scene on a bicycle and stole the vehicle while the owner was inside the business...While officials spoke with the victim, McKerchie drove back by the scene in the stolen car and traveled on 1-96. He then merged onto US-127 where he caused an accident with a driver..."

McKerchie has been jailed since Sept. 21 and was being held on a $250,000 bond. 

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are assisting in the manhunt, the sheriff's office said.

McKerchie has a history of fleeing both the police trying to arrest him, and custodial situations he's been sentenced to. 

His past includes fleeing a juvenile facility in Washtenaw County in 2006, third-degree fleeing the police in Kent County in 2007, and tampering with an electronic monitoring device in Allegan County in 2015.

jdickson@detroitnews.com