Skip to main content

Vigil held for Michigan boys still missing after more than a week

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Vigil held for missing boys
  • Tanner Skelton, 5, Alexander William Skelton, 7, and Andrew Skelton, 9, remain missing
  • Their father, John Skelton, is charged with parental kidnapping
  • He is fighting extradition from Ohio
  • Residents held a candlelight vigil for the missing boys

(CNN) -- Three young brothers from Michigan remain missing despite the efforts of police and volunteer searchers working since the boys' disappearance during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Residents in the small city of Morenci, Michigan, held a candlelight vigil Sunday night for Tanner Skelton, 5, Alexander William Skelton, 7, and Andrew Skelton, 9, who were last seen at their father's home on Thanksgiving.

The father, John Skelton, was arrested last Tuesday upon his release from a mental health facility where he was being treated after a suicide attempt, according to Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks.

Skelton -- charged with parental kidnapping -- is fighting his extradition from Ohio, authorities said last week. A hearing is set for December 14.

Although investigators have found "a number of items," they have not determined the children's whereabouts, Weeks has said. Local authorities and federal investigators have been assisting with the search.

Divers join search for missing brothers
Volunteer search to end for missing boys

Weeks has said authorities are skeptical of the information Skelton has provided. Skelton said he left the three boys with a woman, whom he identified as Joann Taylor, the morning before he tried to take his own life -- in part to ensure that they did not witness his suicide attempt.

Skelton said Taylor was supposed to take the boys to their home in Morenci, a southern Michigan town of about 2,400 people about 40 miles west-northwest of Toledo, Ohio, on November 26, Weeks said. But the boys never arrived.

Earlier, authorities determined that Skelton had no "established relationship" with the person he named as Taylor, and they aren't certain she even exists.

Authorities have been asking for the public's help, hoping someone saw Skelton's blue 2000 Dodge Caravan that was believed to be carrying the boys along a 25-mile stretch of road between Morenci and Holiday City, Ohio.

The last time someone other than a family member saw the boys was at 5 p.m. on November 25, according to Weeks.

Police say Tanner is 3 feet, 6 inches tall, has strawberry-blond hair and blue eyes and weighs about 40 pounds. Alexander is 3 feet, 9 inches tall, has brown hair and eyes, weighs about 45 pounds and has scars on his hairline and chin. The oldest brother, Andrew, is 4 feet, 1 inches tall, has brown hair and eyes and weighs roughly 57 pounds.