Skelton Brothers- Michigan- 2010 Jan 23, 2014 10:57:06 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Jan 23, 2014 10:57:06 GMT -5
Although the case of the missing Skelton Brothers was never aired on AMW, they were the focus of John Walsh's "John Walsh Investigates" special on Lifetime. I realized we didn't have an individual thread on them besides discussing the episode so now I'm making one.
On Thanksgiving Day in 2010, Andrew age 9, Alexander age 7 and Tanner age 5 were taken by their father, John Skelton from his Morenci, Michigan home, during a holiday visitation, and never returned them.
The following is some of what the Charley Project says about the case (the full story is in a link below):
"Their mother, Tanya Lynn Zuvers Skelton, had filed for divorce from their father, John Russell Skelton, in September 2010 and had custody of the boys.
John stated he gave the boys to a woman named Joann Taylor, whom he had met on the internet several years before, and asked her to return them to their mother. He said he did this because he planned to commit suicide and didn't want the boys to see it. John stated Joann was married to a pastor named Mark, drove a white or silver minivan and lived in either Hillsdale, Michigan or Jackson County, Michigan. He attempted to hang himself later that day, but survived and was hospitalized, first at a general hospital and then at a psychiatric facility in Ohio.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the Skelton brothers, but they could find no sign of them and no indication that Joann Taylor even existed. Police said they believed the boys were in "grave danger." They said they believed John's story about Joann Taylor was fictitious and something else caused the Skelton children's disappearances. Investigators stated they were investigating the disappearances as homicides, and John was the prime suspect.
Immediately following John's release from the hospital, he was arrested and jailed under suicide watch. He was eventually extradited to Michigan and charged with three counts of felony parental kidnapping, three counts of kidnapping and three counts of false imprisonment. At a court hearing in December 2010, he changed his story, saying his sons were in the care of "an organization" which he at first refused to name. He later said it called United Foster Outreach and Underground Sanctuaries. The police believe no such group exists.
The children's parents were in the middle of a bitter custody battle at the time of her disappearances. Tanya was at one time a registered sex offender; she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old neighbor boy in 1998, when she was 32 years old. In response to her divorce filing, John had asked the court to sever her parental rights based on her sex offender status. The judge refused to do so.
In July 2011, John took a plea deal with prosecutors and pleaded no contest to three counts of false imprisonment. The kidnapping charges were dropped. He could have faced life in prison if convicted of the original charges. Instead he was sentenced to ten to fifteen years in prison, a term that exceeds the state sentencing guidelines. John has stated his children are still alive but will never be returned as long as their mother has custody of them. His relatives and Tanya don't believe he would have harmed them."
As we all know, John Walsh did an in-depth story on this case for his special. Tanya Zuvers admitted to being a registered sex-offender, but in my opinion, she was pretty up front and honest about it. Walsh also interviewed John Skelton's parents. Walsh also offered his personal cell phone number if John Skelton wanted to call him from prison, but he never took him up on the offer.
Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks believes John Skelton likely killed his three sons based on his internet search history. (Such as looking up ways to poison people).
Thoughts? I hate to say it, but unfortunately I feel Chief Weeks is probably right. At the same time, even he said on the show it would be great if he was wrong- as that would mean the three boys are still alive.
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