Update: Jennifer and James Crumbley have been arrested, according to reports. They were found inside the basement of a building in Detroit, near where their vehicle was found in a parking lot late Friday. Police will hold a press conference at 3 a.m. ET on Saturday.
After a prosecutor announced involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of a Michigan school shooting suspect on Friday, officials said the parents are missing and they’re trying to locate them.
A lawyer for Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of alleged 15-year-old mass shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, contacted authorities on Friday to say that they would turn themselves in if they were charged, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
But after prosecutor Karen McDonald announced the charges, the two stopped communicating with their lawyer, he said. The lawyer said she tried to make contact with them several times Friday without any response.
“We have our Fugitive Apprehension Team, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service and others actively looking for them and have every expectation we’ll have them in custody soon,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a news release. “The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”
Smith and Mariell Lehman, attorneys for the Crumbleys, told the Detroit Free Press that the couple isn’t on the run and will return to Oakland County for their arraignment.
“The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety,” the two wrote to the paper. “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 lawyers said.
Lehman and Smith added that “they are returning to the area to be arraigned” and “are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports.”
Nonetheless, officials released an alert to look out for Jennifer and James Crumbley, who drive a 2021 black Kia Seltos SUV with the license plate DQG5203, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said. They also own a Kia Soul state wagon with the license plate DZH8994.
McDonald, in announcing the charges, said that there were a number of missed opportunities to prevent the shooting, including how the parents were allegedly alerted to disturbing drawings of shootings that Ethan Crumbley had purportedly drawn in class on Tuesday, the same day as the shooting.
The prosecutor also implied that the school board also failed in its responsibility when it allowed the boy to return to class. Hours later, the teen allegedly carried out the mass shooting, McDonald said.
Law enforcement officials charged Ethan with terrorism and first-degree murder in the deaths of Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Justin Shilling, 17; and Hana St. Juliana, 14. Seven others were injured.