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Tuesday
Nov302010

Missing Michigan Boys' Dad Arrested, Cops Don't Expect Good Outcome

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Handout(MORENCI, Mich.) -- The father of the three Michigan brothers who have been missing since Thanksgiving has been arrested on three counts of parental kidnapping, authorities announced Tuesday.

"John Skelton has been released from the hospital and immediately placed in custody," said Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks. Skelton was hospitalized following a failed suicide attempt.

Weeks said that a positive outcome was "not likely" for the three boys.

New details emerged Tuesday about the relationship between the boys’ father, John Skelton, and his wife, Tanya Skelton. They married eight years ago but separated earlier this year. Both sought permanent custody of their three sons -- Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5 -- hurling insults at each other another about how capable each was to parent the trio.

John Skelton argues his wife is an "unfit parent," citing her status as a registered sex offender, since she was convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old boy more than a decade ago. Tanya Skelton argues her husband's long absences as a truck driver make him an unfit parent.

The young boys were at first believed to be with a woman named Joann Taylor, whom Skelton said he'd given the kids to in an attempt to shield them from his botched suicide attempt. But police said Monday that Skelton had lied about having a relationship with Taylor, and they question whether she even exists.

Skelton had told police that he'd handed his sons off to Taylor who was to return them to their mother on Thanksgiving evening. Confirming that Taylor even exists has been a challenge for authorities since the boys disappeared.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

A nasty custody battle may have led to the disappearance of three Michigan brothers who haven't been seen since Thanksgiving and who police believe may be in "extreme danger."

New details are emerging about the relationship between the boy's father, John Skelton, and his wife, Tanya Skelton. They married eight years ago but decided to separate earlier this year. Both sought permanent custody of their three sons -- Andrew Skelton, 9, Alexander Skelton, 7, and Tanner Skelton, 5 -- hurling insults at each other another about how capable each was to parent the trio.

John Skelton argues his wife is an "unfit parent," citing her status as a registered sex offender (she was convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old boy more than a decade ago). Tanya Skelton argues her husband's long absences as a truck driver make him an unfit parent.

Now police are preparing to spend another day searching for the young boys who were at first believed to be with a woman named Joann Taylor, whom Skelton said he'd given the kids to in an attempt to shield them from his botched suicide attempt. But police said Monday that Skelton had lied about having a relationship with Taylor, and they question whether she even exists. Skelton had told police that he'd handed his sons off to Taylor who was to return them to their mother on Thanksgiving evening. Confirming that Taylor even exists has been a challenge for authorities since the boys disappeared.

Skelton has not been named a suspect in his childrens' disappearance but police have not ruled him out either.








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