US Marshals announced a reward and released wanted posters for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the accused Oxford High School shooter late Friday evening.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald has filed four charges of involuntary manslaughter against Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of the 15-year-old shooting suspect, Ethan Crumbley.
The US Marshal’s office posted the wanted posters on social media, noting that there is a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the couple’s arrest.
US Marshals announce reward, release wanted posters for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the accused Oxford HS (Michigan) shooter pic.twitter.com/CbtWwdTHuj
— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) December 4, 2021
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The Oakland County Fugitive Team, along with several agencies, were searching for the couple as of Friday night, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
“The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a release. “They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”
The couple was scheduled to be arraigned at 4 p.m. on Friday evening and had claimed through their lawyer that they were on their way back to the area — but never showed up. The lawyer claims that they had fled for fear of their safety and are still on their way.
“On Thursday night we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to advise her that James and Jennifer Crumbley would be turning themselves in to be arraigned. Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges,” the lawyer told the Free Press. “The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports.”
The parents had been called in to the school just hours before the shooting to discuss an alarming drawing that Ethan had done of himself shooting another person.
“The day of the shooting, a teacher found a note on Ethan Crumbley’s desk that alarmed her so much she took a picture of it on her phone, McDonald said. The note included a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, ‘The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,’ she said,” according to a report from CNN. “Another section was a drawing of a bullet with the words ‘Blood Everywhere’ written above it. Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is one of a person who seems to have been shot twice and is bleeding, McDonald said.”
“Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji,” McDonald said.
Following the meeting, the parents reportedly refused to remove their child from the school, so he remained in the building. He emerged from the bathroom with a loaded weapon and began shooting other people’s children just two hours later.
McDonald said that the parents “failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him or where his gun was located and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him.”
On Monday, a teacher also caught him looking at ammunition sales online during class. After the school contacted the parents, the mother texted Ethan saying “lol, I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”
The teen’s father had purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 gun that was used four days before the shooting. His mother had posted bragging about the weapon on social media, calling it her son’s “new Christmas present.”
The couple, and their son, are charged for the deaths of Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.