Read: Conversation between a detective and the attorney for James and Jennifer Crumbley before arrests

James, Jennifer Crumbley arrested on Dec. 4

James Robert Crumbley (L) and Jennifer Lynn Crumbley (R) (WDIV)

DETROIT – The parents of the accused Oxford High School shooter were found and arrested in the early morning hours of Dec. 4 and we’re learning more about what led up to that arrest.

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

Around 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3, the U.S. Marshals announced that they were joining the search for James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley. The USMS Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team (FAT) was working with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office on the search.

There are now rewards of up to $10 for tips leading to the arrest of James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley.. (US Marshals)

Attorney Shannon Smith represents James and Jennifer Crumbley. On Dec. 3, she told investigators and the media that the parents were not hiding and were going to turn themselves in. That is something the prosecutor says evidence shows is not true.

“They are making their way back here. They will be arraigned. They will be turned in,” Smith told Local 4 on Dec. 3. “They are not hiding. They are not running from anywhere. They’re not out on the lam. They are turning themselves in.”

Read: ‘They are not hiding from anyone’: Attorney says parents of suspected Oxford High School shooter will face involuntary manslaughter charges

The couple did not turn themselves in. A tipster contacted 911 on Dec. 3 and reported seeing Jennifer Crumbley and her vehicle. Because of that tip, police located the black 2021 Kia Seltos SUV belonging to the Crumbleys in Detroit late at night on Dec. 3, and a search was launched.

Here is the conversation between a FAT detective and Smith

Detective Hembree and Sgt. D Hendrick met with attorney Shannon Smith at her office in Bloomfield Township on Dec. 3 at 12:15 p.m.

Smith told detectives that she had been contacted by James Crumbley late in the evening on Dec. 2. She said James Crumbley was concerned about a phone call that he had missed from Detective Sgt. Brian.

She said she told James Crumbley she would reach out to the detective to find out what he wanted. Smith said she had attempted to contact the Crumbleys the morning of Dec. 3 and did not hear back. She gave the detectives the phone numbers for herself and her partner.


Shannon Smith (5:19 p.m.): I just walked out of the circuit court. Got your message. I’m trying to call my partner. I have about 400 texts and calls I haven’t looked at.

Detective Hendrick(5:21 p.m.): Thanks

Shannon Smith (5:24 p.m.): It’s a hell of a day. My house was listed for sale so I have my 4 kids and 4 dogs at my office this afternoon and evening while my house is being shown. So I’ll get in touch with my partner and figure out what’s going on. I told her to tell them they needed to come back here.

Detective Hendrick(5:33 p.m.): I told Mariel that we would be happy to meet them anywhere in the state so that we can safely and without media take them into custody. If they get pulled over the officers could conduct a felony stop and have the laying face down in the street. I would like to avoid all of that if possible. Feel free to give them my number and I will give them my word that it will go smoothly.

Shannon Smith (10:34 p.m.): They are terrified because they were expecting me to get info because Karen M told me she’d get back to me this morning. I do not know where they are but they assured me they are heading back and will call me so we can get them arraigned.

I was in trial all day ... Mariell was flying back from a family trip to Florida so our whole day ended up being phone tag and at least 100 people texting us blowing up our phones.

My best guess from talking to them is that I’ll be texting you at 7 a.m. tomorrow. I wisht he media would chill out on this because it’s terrifying on top of a huge sad awful case. But I’ll text you in the AM. I have talked to them by phone several times tonight. The dads cell phone died and they have no way to charge it so some of the calling issues were due to that. But we have Jennifer’s number and THEY ARE COMING.”

Detective Hendrick (10:43 p.m.): Ok I understand they are scared but their best bet for a quiet surrender is to contact me.

Shannon Smith (10:44 p.m.): Thank you. I’ve told them it needs to be ASAP and they do get it.

Detective Hendrick (10:47 p.m.): I’m sure you realize the longer they hide the higher the bond request is going to be.

Shannon Smith (10:47 p.m.): Absolutely

I would have brought them in today but I couldn’t get any info fast enough. They initially asked if they could go in Monday am and Mariell and I said no. Today was also insane for me personally. I am selling my house and there was an open house today so my four kids, four dogs and cat were at my office while I was in trial. I’m not normally such a hot mess trying to coordinate things. We will get them in. They wouldn’t have paid us what they paid if they plan to run.

Detective Hendrick (10:54 p.m.): Ok you have my number

At 11:47 p.m. the detective called Smith and told her the vehicle had been located and that a search was ongoing. The detective told her to contact the couple and tell them to surrender. Smith said she was unable to reach the Crumbleys.

Shannon Smith (12:28 a.m.): I still ‚can’t get through on the wife’s phone. Were they apprehended?

Detective Hendrick (12:31 a.m.): Not yet, but I bet they’re getting cold.


Oakland County Sheriff details arrest of James and Jennifer Crumbley in Detroit

Read more


About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.