Categories: News

3 Brothers Still Missing, 7 Years After Father Says He Gave Them Away

For almost a decade now, three brothers from Morenci, Michigan have been missing and there remain a lot more questions than answers in their case.

In 2010, the three boys, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton disappeared from their home in Morenci. While their father is in prison, their devastated mother is still holding out hope that her sons will be found.

Tanya Skelton, the boys’ mother told Officer Ryan Hillard on November 26th, 2010 that her husband John Skelton was supposed to bring the boys back to her but he never did. The FBI issued an Amber Alert and a massive search operation throughout Ohio began.

Tanya has said she is heartbroken that her boys haven’t been found. “I wonder, are they scared? Are they crying for me? It’s so hard to imagine them hurting for me and not being able to do anything about it,” she said.

Recalling the events of seven years ago, many of the Morenci residents still think fondly of the missing boys today, but the coverage has subsided in recent years. One resident said, “Everybody thinks about it, but time does cover things up.” While another added that, “It was the talk of the town for a while, but then it died down.”

When they went missing, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner were 9, 7 and 5-years-old respectively. However as the case is still ongoing and investigators are actively working to find the boys, the National Center for Missing Children had created age-progressed photos of what the boys might look like now.

Lt, Detective Jeremy Brewer said “There are still some posters up here and there. There’s yellow ribbons hanging on some doors as you look around town, but it’s just — it’s kind of sad.” Lt Brewer took over the case in 2013 from Chief Larry Weeks. Although he cannot give details of the case he has said that they are closer to solving it now than they were seven years ago.

“As a police officer, you know, you’re realistic. You have to be realistic because you’ve had cases that some are solved and some are not. On a case like this, with the magnitude, with the resources we have directed towards it, I firmly believe without a doubt that we will get some type of closure on it one day,” he said.

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The brothers were last seen in front of their father’s house on November 26th 2010. At the time John Skelton made up a long list of excuses and explanations as to the boys’ whereabouts, however, the fact remains; the brothers have not been seen or heard from since. And no one knows what happened to them.

“When you see three boys that were all very close, from a close-knit community, and that the last person that ever saw them was their own father, and seven years later we still don’t have them, I mean, that story is pretty tragic,” Brewer said.

John Skelton is currently sitting in a jail cell at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan, on an unlawful imprisonment charge.

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Nicola O'Flynn

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