Three Michigan boys remain missing Monday as searchers fan out throughout the southern Michigan town of Morenci and along highways in Ohio to find them. According to the Detroit Free Press, authorities have searched campgrounds, issued warrants for the home of John Skelton, and canvassed the nearby community in hopes of finding the missing children. As the hours have gone by without word of discovery or contact from the boys themselves, many are becoming worried that something untoward might have happened to them.
A foreboding entry made by John Skelton on his Facebook page Wednesday might prove to be an indication of bad news to come. According to the Free Press, he wrote that he hoped God and his wife would forgive him.
It is as yet unclear what was meant or for what he might need forgiveness.
The boys have been missing from their Michigan home since at least Thursday. Witnesses saw two of the three boys in the back yard of their Morenci home that day. But it is afterward where the details of the story, almost all supplied by Skelton from an Ohio hospital bed, began to get strange.
Skelton told his story after being admitted to the hospital for injuries sustained while attempting to hang himself. He said that he had not wanted his boys, who had been visiting him for the Thanksgiving school break, to see him commit suicide, so he gave them over to the care of a woman whom, along with her husband, he had had an Internet relationship with for the past several years. The woman, whose name Skelton said was Joann Taylor, was to deliver the boys to their mother, Tanya.
But the boys never arrived at Tanya Skelton’s house.
Morenci Police and Michigan State Police issued an Amber Alert Friday, stating that they believed the three boys could be in danger.
The FBI later joined in the investigation.
After two full days of searching for the woman and the silver van she was said to have driven, Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks announced at a press conference that they had exhausted all their resources and had come to the conclusion that there was no relationship between Skelton and Taylor. In fact, they doubted her existence.
Chief Larry Weeks said Monday that investigators believe the story of the relationship was fabricated.
Despite the uncertain direction the investigation has taken, investigators continue to speak with John Skelton, who is being treated for “mental health issues” at an Ohio facility. Police chief Weeks said he believes they will find “those boys alive.”
Skelton’s mother also refuses to believe that her son would harm her grandchildren.
“In my heart I know my grandchildren are safe somewhere,” Roxann Skelton told the Free Press. “I know those children are… still with us.”
Although that might very well be, the question remains: Where are they?
Gina Damron, “Searchers comb Ohio road for 3 missing Michigan boys,” Freep.com
Gina Damron, “3 Morenci boys missing in real puzzler,” Freep.com