Day 7: Command Post Moved To Ohio For Search Of Missing Boys

By Scott Sarvay
By Peter Neumann
By Max Resnik

December 2, 2010 Updated Dec 2, 2010 at 7:14 PM EDT

FULTON COUNTY, Ohio - (Indiana's NewsCenter) - It seems that after a series of helicopter fly-overs in rural Williams County, Ohio, specifically along County Road 12, the Command Center for the search teams moved 30 minutes south of Morenci, Michigan.

Recent evidence shows that John Skelton used his cell phone in the area where some 200 volunteers are walking the fields along CR 12. Witnesses have also come forward claiming they saw Skelton's blue Dodge Caravan exit the Ohio turnpike, around the same time as the cell phone use, near the new search area. Accompanying the helicopter and approximately 200 volunteers were search K-9s. The area now being surveyed, according to some volunteers, is 300 acres.

Teams in other areas continued to work waterways today and added sonar as a search tool. Dive teams came from Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana to aid in the waterway searches.

On Wednesday, search and recovery teams surveyed an area of US 20 in Ohio along the Saint Joseph River.

Areas that had also been searched included SW Lenawee County, Michigan, NE Williams County and NW Fulton County, Ohio.

Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks has asked that volunteers not join the public search for the missing boys Saturday and Sunday, but to search their own properties instead.

39-year-old John Skelton was released from psychiatric evaluation and arrested and charged with parental kidnapping Tuesday afternoon. Skelton is being held in the Lucas County, Ohio jail on a $3 Million bond. He is also fighting extradition to Michigan and will have another hearing on December 14th.

During a Tuesday afternoon news-conference, Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks said search crews will continue looking for the missing boys.

Indiana's NewsCenter followed crews that specialize in searching waterways today. Crews looked into ponds and streams in the search area. They hope to search as many waterways as possible before the winter weather causes a freeze.

Police say their mother reported five-year-old Tanner, seven-year-old Alexander, and nine-year-old Andrew went missing when her estranged husband John didn't return them Friday. They were last seen at the 100 block of East Congress Street in Morenci.

Skelton initially told police he gave the boys to a woman he met "online," a woman by the name of Joann Taylor. He then tried to hang himself and failed. Later, the police chief says the father lied about Joann Taylor and say the boys could be in "extreme danger."

Since 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, rumors have spread about the situation with some media outlets reporting that the boys' bodies were found in Holiday City, Ohio. At 4:00 p.m. Tuesday Indiana's NewsCenter's Max Resnik had spoken to rescue teams who had not been called off their search. The rumor that the boys were found in Holiday City, Ohio remains unconfirmed and a rumor.

There were also reports that John Skelton admitted to FBI agents that he did in fact kill his three sons. That information cannot yet be confirmed either.

What can be confirmed is that there is a dimming glimmer of hope that the boys will be found alive.

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