The alleged Oxford High School shooter and his parents are all being held at the same jail but in separate cells, officials said.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault, and firearms charges. Parents Jennifer and James Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said that the three family members are being held in separate sections of the Oakland County Jail after the parents were arrested on Saturday. They aren’t permitted to communicate with one another, he confirmed.
The three are all separately under suicide watch, out of an abundance of caution, Bouchard added.
“We have nothing to lead us to believe that anybody has any mental health challenges so far,” he said during a news conference. “They indicate no interest or desire to hurt themselves.”
Bouchard said that an investigation into the parents’ disappearance on Friday is underway.
“We had communication that the couple was not responding to texts or phone calls from their attorney,” Bouchard said. “We’re looking for them if they show up, fine, but we’re not going to sit at the front desk and tap our fingers until they come in.”
According to prosecutors, James and Jennifer Crumbley committed egregious acts, from buying a gun on Black Friday and making it available to Ethan Crumbley to resisting his removal from school when they were summoned a few hours before the shooting. They were indicted Friday but were not at their arraignment that same day, sparking a manhunt, sheriff’s officials said.
“I expect parents and everyone to have humanity and to step in and stop a potential tragedy,” Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said last week. “The conclusion I draw is that there was absolute reason to believe this individual was dangerous and disturbed.”
But a lawyer for the parents, Shannon Smith, said during their arraignment that their “case is the saddest, most tragic, worst case imaginable,” and “there is absolutely no doubt that our clients were going to turn themselves in, and it was just a matter of logistics.”
Their lawyers also suggested the pair would plead not guilty.
“While it’s human nature to want to find someone to blame or something to point to or something that gives us answers, the charges in this case are intended to make an example and send a message,” their lawyers also told NPR in a statement. “The prosecution has very much cherry-picked and slanted specific facts to further their narrative to do that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.