The mystery of how Jonathan Elbers has continued to flee police with no resources was solved Saturday night as a home invasion report brought fresh leads in the continued manhunt for the "extremely dangerous" suspect.
Break-in brings clues in chase
Around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, homeowners in a rural section of 25 Mile Road south of New Haven Road in Chesterfield Township returned from vacation and quickly realized something was awry, authorities said Sunday.
"They found he was sleeping in his bed and they found some blood," Chesterfield Township Police Chief Bruce Smith told Patch. "They noticed that somebody had been (acting) like they were living in the house.”
The break-in answers how Elbers, whose truck and phone were confiscated by police, has had stamina to flee for what is now day three of the search. A native of Tuscola County, he has no friends or family in this Metro Detroit community and there's been no activity on his credit card. He also suffered a head wound while attempting to kidnap and kill his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend in the early Friday morning hours, police said.
“He lives a long way from Chesterfield," Smith said, noting that temps have dropped around the 30s when Elbers has been on the lam. "This makes a lot of sense that he was in a house when the home owner was gone.”
Sighting leads to another search
On Saturday night, the multi-agency manhunt forged ahead after Elbers was sighted by the Macomb Correctional Facility in Lenox Township—deploying police, tracking dogs and a helicopter.
The search was in full swing around 9 p.m. as authorities scoured a wooded area near the prison to no avail. They also checked surrounding buildings, businesses and other possible places he could be hiding.
Township police, Michigan State Police, Sterling Heights K-9 Unit, Macomb County Sheriff Office and border patrol agents participated in the pursuit.
The sighting followed a Friday afternoon tip that Elbers was walking on New Haven Road near Pollard Park. After that report, he eluded police during a two-hour track through woodland and a creek. The home invasion report explains how he changed clothes from the time of the abduction attempt to when he was chased Friday afternoon, police said.
Public asked to keep eye out
Elbers is charged in an arrest warrant with assault with intent to murder, a life felony; first-degree home invasion, a 20-year felony; unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony; and assaulting an officer causing injury, a 4-year felony. The officer suffered a minor injury while attempting to apprehend Elbers.
The charges stem from when he arrived at his ex-girlfriend's home in the 23 Mile and Sass area, tried binding her and stuffing her into a large plastic bag. He told her he was going to shoot her in the head, she told police said.
His plot was interrupted when officers arrived at the home after receiving a phone call from the victim's parents vacationing in Florida. The victim had been on the phone with someone close to her when Elbers knocked on her door around 1 a.m. Friday. His truck was found nearby with a loaded rifle and duct tape inside. After a scuffle with responding officers, he ran from the scene, police said.
He is described as 5'10, 155 pounds with hair longer than it was in the attached picture; it is now shaggy.
Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is urged to call the Chesterfield Township Police at 586-949-2322 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.