Dad whose trip to Michigan dunes with kids sparked manhunt pleads to assault, battery charge

A Detroit-area man whose late-summer trip to a national park in northern Lower Michigan with his children sparked a 12-hour manhunt has pleaded to assault and battery.

Emmet County District Court Administrator Lisa Smith says Daniel Elliott offered a no contest plea Monday to the misdemeanor charge. The 50-year-old Orchard Lake resident's no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but will be treated that way at sentencing.

He had been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence.

Police say Elliott and his wife had a physical confrontation during an August visit to Petoskey. He then took his three children to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where they spent the night and later were found after the lengthy search.

According to Smith, no sentencing date has been sent.