NEW chilling details continue to emerge in the case of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, whose parents are now considered fugitives after failing to surrender to police on Friday afternoon.
Jennifer and James Crumbley had been scheduled to hand themselves over to police in Michigan at 2pm local time to each be arraigned in court on four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
However, as of early Friday evening, the couple’s whereabouts are currently unknown.
The Oakland County Fugitive Team, along with the FBI and U.S Marshal Service are currently searching for Jennifer, 43, and James, 45.
It is not known whether there has been a mistake or if they’re actively attempting to flee law enforcement.
ON THE RUN?
They were last seen by the public on Thursday when they tuned in to their 15-year-old son’s virtual arrangement from a car after he was indicted on murder, terrorism, and assault charges in relation to his alleged rampage at Oxford High on Monday that left four dead and seven others injured, including a teacher.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, an attorney for the Crumbley family denied claims the couple is attempting to evade police, writing: “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.”
Jennifer and James were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday after prosecutors claimed their actions went “far beyond negligence” in the days prior to their son’s deadly massacre.
Under Michigan law, an involuntary manslaughter charge can be pursued if prosecutors believe someone contributed to a situation where harm or death was high. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.
According to police, the gun used in Monday’s shooting was a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun that Ethan’s parents had bought for him as an early Christmas present the day after Thanksgiving.
The now-accused murderer, who will be tried as an adult, reportedly boasted about the weapon on social media, uploading a photo of it to Instagram and calling it his “new beauty.”
The following day, Jennifer penned her own Instagram post detailing how she and Ethan had spent the day testing the new gun.
“Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present,” Jennifer is said to have written in the since-deleted post.
Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said the note included the drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing towards the words “the thoughts won’t stop, help me,” and “blood everywhere.”
Also included in the sickening drawing was purportedly the body of a person who had been shot twice, along with a laughing emoji and the words “my life is useless” and “the world is dead.”
Ethan was removed from the classroom and Jennifer and James were instructed to get their son counseling within 48 hours.
They allegedly pushed back against the suggestion of removing him from school for the rest of the day and instead Ethan returned to class.
Shortly afterward, investigators say Ethan Crumbley exited a school bathroom and began moving through a hallway at a “methodical pace”, indiscriminately shooting students in hallways and classrooms at close range.
Crumbley then surrendered to cops around five minutes after the attack began. He reportedly handed over the same Sig Sauer 9mm that he bragged his parents had bought him on social media days earlier.
DAD’S 911 CALL
Authorities say they believe Crumbley intended to claim the lives of more victims, having found two 15-round clips and suggesting he may have stashed a third somewhere.
When news of an active shooter at the school became public, Jennifer reportedly texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it.”
Fifthteen minutes after Jennifer’s text, James Crumbley called 911 to report a gun was missing from their home and that his son may have been the shooter, but it was too late.
“I have tremendous compassion and empathy for parents who have children who are struggling and at risk for whatever reason,” McDonald said on Thursday. “But the facts of this are so egregious.
“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” McDonald continued.
The gun “seems to have been just freely available to that individual.”
According to prosecutors, the gun was stored in an unlocked safe inside Jennifer and James’ bedroom.
It’s rare for parents to be charged in relation to school shootings carried out by their children, even as most minors get guns from a parent or relative’s house
There’s no Michigan law that requires gun owners to keep weapons locked away from children. McDonald, however, suggested there’s more to build a case on.
“All I can say at this point is those actions on mom and dad’s behalf go far beyond negligence,” she told WJR-AM.
“We obviously are prosecuting the shooter to the fullest extent. … There are other individuals who should be held accountable.”
‘DON’T GET CAUGHT’
James and Jennifers meeting with teachers at Oxford High on the morning of the shooting came off the back of a second meeting just days earlier in which teachers again raised concerns over Ethan’s behavior.
On November 21, a teacher reportedly found Ethan searching for ammunition on his cell phone during class and reported the incident to senior staff at the school.
Administrators left a voicemail for Jennifer Crumbley and followed up with an email but apparently received no response.
Text message records show Jennifer texted her son later that day.
She’s alleged to have written: “Lol I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”
That message was sent five days before the parents purchased that gun that police say was used to carry out the massacre.
PARENTS’ LEGAL WOES
The day after James bought Ethan the weapon, on November 27, a woman in Florida filed a complaint against him for thousands in unpaid child support, the Daily Beast reports.
Details surrounding the complaint remain unclear, however, the petition was filed by James’ ex-wife, with whom he shares his 18-year-old son Eli, Ethan’s half-brother.
Both Jennifer and James have had previous run-ins with the law before, including DUI charges in Florida.
According to online records in Duval County, Florida, James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with DUI on Feb. 12, 2005, pleaded no contest, and were each fined $652.
James was also busted by the Atlantic Beach Police Department for driving with a suspended license and having an improper tag the same year. He paid a fine of more than $200 for that charge.
Two years earlier, Jennifer was also accused of writing a bogus check for $150, but the misdemeanor case was later tossed out.
She committed the same offense in 2004 and was fined $240, records show.
Money appears to have been an issue for the Crumbleys for a number of years, as indicated by an open letter penned by Jennifer to then-President-Elect Donald Trump in November 2016.
In her note, Jennifer insisted she was “scared s**tless” to vote for Trump in 2016, identifying herself as a supporter of the LGBTQ community and a feminist.
“I value womens rights [sic] and want to be alive when I see the first woman become President,” she wrote. “But as an American Woman, with a 10-year-old child I could not have that first woman be Hillary.”
She continued: “Mr. Trump, I actually love that you are a bad public speaker because that showed sincerity, and humility. You changed your mind, and you said ‘so what’.
“You made the famous ‘grab them in the p**sy” comment, did it offend me? No. I say things all the time that people take the wrong way, do I mean them, not always. Do I agree that you should have shown your tax returns? No. I don’t care what you do or maybe don’t pay in taxes.”
Jennifer went on to tell the then-president-in-waiting that she hoped he would “really uncover the politicians for what I believe they really are,” and that he might “shut down Big Pharma, make health care affordable for me and my MIDDLE CLASS family again.”
Jennifer also revealed that she was a supporter of Trump’s border wall proposal, but countered that she was “not racist” because her grandfather “came straight off the boat in Italy.”
“If you want to be here, work here, live here damnit [sic], f**king earn it and prove it,” she added.
“As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms,” the letter continued. “Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment.”