What happened to the Skelton brothers? Thanksgiving marks 11 years since Michigan boys disappeared
MORENCI, Mich. (FOX 2) - Thanksgiving marks 11 years since the Skelton brothers were last seen.
Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner would be 20, 18, and 16, respectively, this year.
What happened to the Skelton brothers?
The boys – Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, spent the holiday with their father John Skelton in Morenci, Mich. in 2010. Their mother, Tanya Zuvers, was supposed to pick them up from her ex-husband the next day.
However, she stopped hearing from John Skelton, so she went to his house. He wasn't home because he was at a hospital after he broke his ankle. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, he told hospital workers that he injured his ankle while trying to commit suicide.
Police were able to get into his home, where they found the house destroyed but the boys weren't there.
The Skelton brothers
John Skelton is accused of changing the story of where they were while he was at the hospital. He said they were with friends before telling investigators that the boys were given to an unknown woman. He also told police that he gave them to an underground group that would keep them safe.
Phone records helped police place John Skelton the day after his boys were last seen. He had been in Morenci early Nov. 26, 2010. According to Michigan State Police, he went to Ohio. His phone pinged him in Ohio about 20 miles from his home, was shut off, then pinged him back in Morenci about 2 hours and fifteen minutes after he left Michigan.
Search parties looked for the boys, but they haven't been found and John Skelton hasn't told anyone where they actually are or if they are even still alive, aside from his stories of giving them to unknown people.
Where is John Skelton now?
John Skelton is currently in prison at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich.
He has not been charged in connection with the disappearance of his sons. However, he was sentenced to 10-15 years in prison for unlawful imprisonment.
John Skelton (Photo: MDOC)
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Thanksgiving Day 2010 wasn't the first time John Skelton took the boys from Zuvers.
John Skelton was accused of taking the boys out of school two months before their disappearance. It is alleged that he said he was taking them on a trip to Florida, where his parents live.
John Skelton and Zuvers divorced after this, and Zuvers was granted custody of the boys, just before they disappeared.
John Skelton pleaded no contest to three unlawful imprisonment charges and was sentenced to prison in 2011.
Last year, he was denied parole, and this year he did not appear at a parole hearing.
Corrections Department Spokesman Chris Gautz says Skelton didn't give a reason for skipping the hearing. This means that he will likely have to wait another year to try to be paroled.
If he is not granted parole, he will be released in 2025.
What do the Skelton brothers look like now?
Several age progression photos have been released to show what the Skelton boys may look like now. The most recent photo was released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children last November, showing what the boys may look like at 19, 17, and 15 years old.
From left to right: Tanner, Alexander, and Andrew Skelton
Anyone with information is asked to call Michigan State Police at 517-636-0689, or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1800-843-5678.