Grandparents: Dad Says Three Missing Michigan Boys Are Safe

By Nicole Hahn
By Scott Sarvay

December 9, 2010 Updated Dec 9, 2010 at 7:23 PM EDT

Toledo, Ohio (WTVG-Toledo) - The grandparents of the three missing boys from Morenci went to the Lucas County jail to visit their son Wednesday. John Skelton remains locked up and charged with parental kidnapping.

After their meeting with John, William and Roxanne Skelton believe 100% that their grandsons are still alive. However, their son did not reveal where the boys are. Roxanne says, "Those children are safe. And he wouldn't tell me where."

Roxanne and William Skelton, who live in Florida, met with their son at the Lucas County jail Wednesday afternoon for the first time since his arrest. The video conference lasted a half hour. John's dad says when he first saw his son on the screen, he said he looked like he's been through combat and told him, "Son, this is one hell of a way to get Morenci on the map. Then I sat back and listened to him. No, he didn't do that stuff."

The Skeltons would not discuss details of what John Skelton said. His parents simply say he did what he had to do to get Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner away from their mother. "He took those boys out of harm's way and I respect my son. He loves his children and I respect my son for doing just that," says Roxanne.

William has nothing but criticism for the way police are handling the investigation. "I believe there are faulty things in the system aren't helping both sides equally. The system wants to go to one thing --dead bodies --and doesn't want to look at the other side of the story. Very, very biased."

Skelton's parents say they believe their son is depressed, but not suicidal.

John Skelton's aunt is echoing those statements. Sandra Arens says she also believes John is protecting the boys from their mother. And she questioned why the public hasn't seen much of Tanya Skelton in the days after the boys disappeared.

"I don't understand why she didn't come out and say anything, I want my kids back. Why she wasn't at any of the candlelight vigils and I don't understand that why when he went to call her that Friday night after Thanksgiving and into Saturday that she refused his calls," says Arens.

Arens says if her husband would have taken her kids, she would have been on the phone with him right away.

Meantime, the public search has been called off, but local authorities are still looking for help in the case. If you have information that could help police find the boys, call 517-458-7104. Investigators have also posted a $10,000 reward.

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