(MORENCI, Mich.) -- The father of three missing Michigan boys lied about having a relationship with a woman to whom he said he gave the brothers in an attempt to shield them from his botched suicide attempt, police said Monday.
"We can confirm that there is no established relationship between [John Skelton] and the person he described as Joann Taylor," Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said.
Skelton had told police that he handed sons Andrew Skelton, 9, Alexander Skelton, 7, and Tanner Skelton, 5, off to Taylor to return them to their mother on Thanksgiving evening. Skelton is separated from his wife, Tanya Skelton, who has full custody of the boys.
Skelton had said he met Taylor and her husband a few years ago when he helped them after their car broke down, and then began e-mailing her, police said.
But confirming that Taylor even exists has been a challenge for authorities since the boys disappeared.
Police have said that the boys, who have been missing for four days, could be in "extreme danger."
Search crews, as well as hundreds of volunteers, looked for the boys throughout the weekend, focusing much of their efforts in wooded areas surrounding Skelton's home.
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