A neighbor of accused Michigan high school shooter Ethan Crumbley says she warned authorities about his parents’ alleged neglect of him before last week’s slaughter, a new report reveals.
Kayla LeMieux, who lives near Ethan and his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, said she alerted child-abuse authorities that the pair would leave their son — then 8 or 9 years old — home alone while they went out bar-hopping, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.
“When they were gone, he would come knock on our door,” LeMieux, 28, told the outlet. “They didn’t leave him with a phone.”
LeMieux said she notified Child Protective Services but doesn’t know if they took action — noting that the alleged neglect continued.
“It was really when I finally started to say more, because I was just like, even after calling CPS, they were still doing it and even me saying something to them, they were still like, ‘Oh, he is fine,’ ” she said.
A spokesman for the child-care agency told the Free Press that they could not confirm LeMieux’s claims because all abuse allegations reported to the entity are kept confidential.
The Crumbleys’ lawyers did not respond to requests for comment from the outlet.
Ethan, 15, is being held without bail after being charged with first-degree murder, terrorism and assault with intent to murder in last week’s shooting rampage at Oxford High School, where the teen is a sophomore.
The shootings left four students dead and seven other people wounded.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged Saturday with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter in the case and are each being held on $500,000 bail.
Police said the parents purchased the 9mm semi-automatic handgun used in the attack just four days earlier, and refused to take their son out of school after a meeting over a “disturbing” drawing he had made in class.
He opened fire about three hours later.
Authorities say the parents were aware of disturbing behavior by their son before the shooting, yet still gave him access to the weapon.
The couple went missing Friday after learning they were set to face charges, and were arrested at a Detroit art studio the next day during a manhunt, authorities said.
In a separate report Monday, the Free Press said Detroit police were ready for the Crumbleys to hide in their city and even held briefings on the possibility.
“We actually debriefed that and talked about our metro division and our resources and what we would have in place should that happen,” Detroit Police Chief James White said. “So we weren’t surprised.”
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is questioning Detroit artist Andrzej Sikora, 65, as a person of interest in the parents’ time on the lam, suggesting he may have helped the Crumbleys elude police.
County prosecutors are also reviewing whether any school officials could face charges for allowing the teen to go home and not checking his backpack, where he had the gun.