By JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press
GLEN HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A man who was the target of a 12-hour manhunt at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan remains in custody and an official said he will be formally charged Wednesday.
Daniel Gerard Elliott, 50, will remain in the Emmet County Jail on $10,000 cash bond on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence that was authorized by a county prosecutor in a warrant. Elliott is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday, Sheriff Peter Wallin said.
The magistrate's order included a requirement that Elliott get a mental health evaluation before being released. A district court official said Elliott had not retained an attorney.
The case developed over the weekend when the family from the Detroit suburb of Orchard Lake was visiting friends and relatives in the northern Michigan town of Petoskey, police said.
Wallin said Elliott and his wife had a physical confrontation Sunday and she was left on the side of a road, where she called police. Wallin would not provide further details of the incident, but a blog posting by the sheriff's office in Leelanau County, where the national lakeshore is located, said she was "forced out of the family vehicle by her husband."
Elliott then drove about 90 miles south to the lakeshore with the couple's three children, where they spent the night in the woods without food, water or shelter. Heavy rain fell Monday morning, followed by scorching, muggy weather.
Searchers found the family Monday night walking down a sandy hillside. Authorities said the children were hungry, thirsty, exhausted and covered with mosquito bites but otherwise in good health.
"I feared for the worst," Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich said. "It all turned out well, but something was wrong with this picture."
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter repeatedly swept over the lakeshore, while dozens of officers with several law enforcement agencies combed the shoreline and swampy woodlands.
The children — 14- and 10-year-old girls and a 9-year-old boy — said they knew there was a helicopter looking for them and that they'd been hiding all day, Borkovich said.
Borkovich said the search had been expensive but couldn't provide an estimated cost.
The children told rescuers their father had described the outing as a camping trip, even though they had few supplies or equipment, said Phil Akers, chief ranger at the national lakeshore.
A park ranger spotted a car with a dented door parked near the Coast Guard Maritime Heritage Museum Monday morning. Borkovich said the ranger ran a check on the license plate and learned there was an alert for the vehicle.
Authorities believe Elliott had no criminal intent in taking the children, Borkovich said. He also said that no other charges are expected.
Elliott's wife "said she was concerned for the welfare of her children because of her husband's mental state but did not believe he would harm them," Borkovich said in a blog posting.
Even so, he said Elliott had acted unwisely.
"If you take off in 90-degree heat without plans, without water, without food, you're gone in a rainstorm without ... a tent, I would call that somewhat of a rogue camping event," Borkovich said. "Very risky."
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