Parents of Alleged Oxford School Shooter Go Missing After New Charges: Sheriff

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard confirmed that the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who is accused of killing four and injuring another seven during the Oxford High School shooting, are missing as of Friday afternoon.

Asked if the Crumbleys are missing, Bouchard told CNN: "Correct."

"An attorney representing [the Crumbleys] called our detectives and said, 'If the prosecutor announces charges, we'll make arrangements to have them arrested,'" Bouchard recalled.

"When we were informed the prosecutor had issued charges, we sent detectives out and got a call from the lawyer for the couple saying they're not returning their calls or texts," the sheriff said. "If they think they're going to get away, they're not."

He added that his officers were working with the FBI and the U.S. Marshal Service and dedicating every available resource to locating the couple.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, the sheriff's office said the couple may be driving a black 2021 Kia Seltos SUV with the Michigan license plate number DQG5203. Anyone with information is being asked to call the sheriff at 248-858-4911.

"The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot run from their part in this tragedy," Bouchard said in the statement.

Oxford Shooter Parents Crumbley Missing
Flowers rest at a makeshift memorial outside of Oxford High School on December 01, 2021 in Oxford, Michigan. Scott Olson/Getty

Earlier in the day, James and Jennifer Crumbley were named in criminal warrants after they were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of the high school students allegedly shot by their son.

Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe told the Detroit News that the county's Fugitive Apprehension Team is currently looking for the couple.

They were scheduled to be arraigned at 4 p.m. ET.

The charges issued by Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald had been an unexpected move straying from the typical prosecution of school shootings.

However, McDonald said gun owners have a "duty to make sure that you don't give access to this deadly weapon to somebody that you have reason to believe is going to harm someone."

On the morning of the shooting, his parents had been summoned to the school after a teacher found a disturbing photo Ethan drew of a gun and bloody figure. McDonald said his parents "resisted" the idea of taking their son out of school and left without him.

"I have tremendous compassion and empathy for parents with children who are struggling, for whatever reason," McDonald said at a Friday news conference. "But the facts in this case are so egregious. The notion that a parent could read those words, and also know their son had access to a deadly weapon."

Jennifer Crumbley Oxford Shooting Parents
Jennifer Crumbley Oakland County Sheriff's Office
James Crumbley Oxford Shooting Parents
James Crumbley Oakland County Sheriff's Office

Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult in the Tuesday shooting with 24 counts: one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Local outlets are reporting that a Be On The Lookout alert has been issued for the couple, but Bouchard warned the public from approaching the Crumbleys in case they were armed.

The sheriff said the couple had not been under surveillance until the charges were pending last night. He said that he would need to discuss with a detective when the last point of communication was with the Crumbleys, adding "I mean, this obviously just recently happened."

Update 12/03/21 4:45 p.m. This story was updated with additional information, including a statement to Newsweek from the sheriff regarding known information on the parents.