US Marshals join search for parents of teen charged in Oxford High School shooting

Couple’s attorneys say they left town ‘for their own safety,’ but are returning

James, Jennifer Crumbley facing involuntary manslaughter charges

DETROIT – The U.S. Marshals joined the search Friday for the parents who are charged in connection with the deadly attack on Oxford High School that their teen son is accused of committing.

James Robert Crumbley and Jennifer Lynn Crumbley are each facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter after police say their son, Ethan Crumbley, 15, killed four students Tuesday (Nov. 30) at the high school in Oxford, Michigan.

UPDATE Friday night: Parents of suspected Oxford High School shooter in custody after manhunt on Detroit’s east side, sources say

The teen was arraigned on a list of charges including several counts of murder and terrorism Wednesday. His bond was denied and he is being held at the Oakland County Jail.

Read more: Father called 911 to report missing gun, say his son might be Oxford High School shooter, police say

This booking photo released by the Oakland County, Mich., Sheriff's Office shows Ethan Crumbley, 15, who is charged as an adult with murder and terrorism for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured more at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., authorities said Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Oakland County Sheriff's Office via AP)

The Crumbleys were charged Friday and were set to be arraigned on the charges Friday evening. However, police have been unable to locate them. A “be on the lookout” alert was sent to law enforcement about 3 p.m. Friday. About an hour later the couple’s attorneys, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman, released a statement explaining their clients had left town, but planned to return:

“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,” reads the statement from their attorneys. “Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges. 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.”

Around 5:30 p.m. Friday, the U.S. Marshals announced that they were joining the search for James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley. The USMS Detroit Fugitive Apprehension team is working with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office on the search.

“The attorney, this morning, told us if charges were issued, and at that point, they had not (been), that she would make arrangements to have them arrested,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

Police were searching for the Crumbleys after the charges were issued, and Bouchard went on CNN to discuss the search.

“Given that their attorney said that they would handle this if charges were issued, and now they’re not responding to the attorney -- it certainly is indicative of their intent to flee, which is certainly something we plan to stop very short,” Bouchard said. “If (anyone in the public knows) where they are, or they see them, please call 9-1-1.”

This undated handout provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office shows James Crumbley. A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday, Dec. 3, 20201 against James and Jennifer Crumbley, whose 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley is accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school.(Oakland County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This undated handout provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office shows Jennifer Crumbley. A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday, Dec. 3, 20201 against James and Jennifer Crumbley, whose 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley is accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school.(Oakland County Sheriff's Office via AP)

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.