Father Charged with Parental Kidnapping

Day 8: Search For Three Missing Boys Enters New Phase

By Max Resnik

December 3, 2010 Updated Dec 3, 2010 at 6:54 PM EDT

MORENCI, Mich. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Friday is the last day for organized volunteer searches for the three young brothers believed to have been murdered by their father.

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. Both police and the Skelton family appreciate the help and support of the community but ask that the searchers rest their legs. They could be called back on Monday if they are needed.

Many of the searchers today were located in southern Michigan, more than 30 miles from yesterday's newly established command post which has already been changed. Some estimates showed 250-400 volunteer searchers, an increase from yesterday.

No helicopters were heard or seen today and it appears as though the strongest leads have been looked into and are now exhausted.

The three boys, 5, 7 and 9 years of age, have been missing since Thanksgiving and are feared dead. Searchers were focusing along a stretch of Williams County, Ohio Road 12 Thursday where a new command post was set up. That post is no longer operating.

The father of the boys, John Skelton, has so far been charged with parental kidnapping and remains jailed in the Lucas County, Ohio jail under a $3-million bond. Recent evidence shows that Skelton used his cell phone in the area where some 200 volunteers were searching Thursday.

Police have described their search for five-year-old Tanner, seven-year-old Alexander, and nine-year-old Andrew as a search-and-recovery action, indicating they don't expect to find the young boys alive.

Skelton and his wife are divorced .

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