Search Continues for Three Missing Boys in Michigan

Fri, December 3, 2010 11:51am EDT by 172 Comments

A week after the three Skelton brothers disappeared and their father attempted suicide, entire communities keep searching, an anonymous donor offers a reward for their return, and a heartsick mother awaits word of her boys.

It’s one of those cases where no news is definitely not good news. A week after their father claimed to give them to a friend he met online for safe keeping, the three Skelton brothers, Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, are still missing. As hundreds of volunteers throughout southern Michigan and northern Ohio continue to look for the three brothers, an anonymous donor has offered a reward of $10,000 to anyone who can supply information that will safely return the boys home (the reward will be nullified if the person claiming it had anything to do with the boys’ disappearance).

Read our original story about this tragic case, when the boys first went missing.

Meanwhile, the boys’ mother, Tanya Skelton, 44, who filed for divorce from John Skelton, 39, in September, hopes against all odds that her boys will be found alive.”We know how hard everyone has been working,” said family spokesperson Kathye Herrera, a friend of Tanya’s. Reading from a prepared statement, Herrera referred to Tanya’s sons as “our precious little boys.”

John Skelton was planning to commit suicide by hanging himself and didn’t want the boys to see it, so he told authorities that he had turned them over to Joann Taylor, a woman he met online. Authorities have cleared her of any involvement, but have charged John with parental kidnapping and have jailed him on a $3 million bond. In the boys’ hometown of Morenci, Michigan, police chief Larry Weeks, who is coordinating the search, confirmed that Skelton has provided some information to authorities, but that they have not spoken with him in several days and that he is now asking for a lawyer.

While the search for the boys continues, though, coordinators of the search have discussed the possibility of suspending it for the weekend while they reevaluate their options. That doesn’t mean, however, that volunteers will stop looking.

“We will not be satisfied until our boys are home,” Morenci mayor Keith Pennington said yesterday (December 2). Tim Beck, of nearby Archbold, will also keep looking, because he has a 10-year-old daughter and knows how Tanya feels.

“You’ve got to have closure,” he said, while also mentioning that he had taken a week off work to hunt deer, but had spent most of his time searching for the boys. “That’s why we’re looking — for the mom’s sake.”

And even as the clock keeps ticking and the boys still haven’t been found, we can continue to hope for the best.

-Roger Singer

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