Search for three boys moves into OhioWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Police are still searching for three young Michigan brothers who haven’t been seen since their father tried to hang himself, and investigators unraveling the man’s strange story have extended their search into Ohio.
At the heart of the investigation was an account by the father, 39-year-old John Skelton, who told investigators he’d left the boys in the care of a woman, Joann Taylor, with whom he said he had an online relationship with. Yet, officers had no luck finding the woman. On Nov. 29 it was reported that the information Skelton gave the authorities on the woman was false.
Skelton has been treated at a hospital in Ohio for “mental health issues’” since Nov. 27, one day after he tried to kill himself, said Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks.
Skelton told investigators Nov. 26 that he didn’t want the boys in his house when he committed suicide, so he asked a woman named Joann Taylor to take them to their mother, who is separated from Skelton. Weeks said Saturday that officers haven’t been able to confirm that Taylor exists.
An Amber Alert was issued on Nov. 26 for Skelton’s sons: 9-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner.
When asked if Skelton was a suspect in the boys’ disappearance, Weeks said: “We haven’t ruled anything out, yet.”
Skelton had earlier said he met Taylor several years ago and that the two had been involved in an online relationship. She was believed to live in Jackson or Hillsdale counties in southern Michigan.
But officers had no success tracking down a woman by that name or the silver van Skelton said she was driving. They have now expanded the search area into Ohio and are seeking a 2000 blue Dodge Caravan, that may have been in the Pioneer, Unity, West Unity, Holiday City, Ohio areas between 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 26.
Anyone who may have seen the vehicle or the boys is asked to call the Morenci Police hotline: 517-458-7104.
Associated Press contributed to this report.