Search for Skelton Boys Called Off for Weekend

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Hundreds of searchers combed the southern Michigan and northern Ohio countryside again Friday for three young brothers last seen at their father's home on Thanksgiving. With the search ending unsuccessfully, authorities prepared to use the weekend to determine what else should be done to find the boys.
Morenci police had said Friday's search would be the last organized one of the week using volunteers, and fire official Bob Mohr said Friday evening that no search was planned for Saturday or Sunday.
Still, it's unlikely those who have turned out will stop looking for Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner Skelton, 5.
The search has consumed Morenci, a town of about 2,000 residents 75 miles southwest of Detroit. Saturday's annual Christmas parade has been cancelled, and City Hall shut down so it could be used as a command center.
Much of the search in recent days has centered on three counties in the northwestern corner of Ohio. Dive teams dove into lakes, rivers and a gravel pit, while buses carried hundreds of volunteers to remote roads and fields.
The boys' father, John Skelton, faces three kidnapping charges and is fighting extradition from Ohio to Michigan. He remains jailed on a $3 million bond.
Morenci police Chief Larry Weeks said earlier this week that Skelton, 39, has provided some information, but authorities have had no contact with him during the past few days.
The boys' mother, Tanya Skelton, 44, reported them missing Nov. 26 after their father didn't return them from a court-ordered visitation. Police say John Skelton lied to investigators when he said he gave the boys to a female acquaintance to hand over to their mother before he tried to commit suicide.
Skelton's attorney at the extradition hearing has said he wouldn't comment on anything about the case. Skelton's sister, Linda Ford of Jacksonville, Fla., has said that she didn't think authorities were treating her brother fairly.
Police have said they don't expect a positive outcome. Mohr said that if volunteers are needed to search again, officials will put out the word through the media.


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