State Police take lead on old missing boys' case

 MORENCI, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police have taken over an investigation into the disappearance of three Michigan boys missing since Thanksgiving 2010 and the agency has vowed to solve the disappearance no matter how long it takes.

The announcement this week comes ahead of the third anniversary of the disappearance of 9-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton. They were last seen at their father’s home in Morenci near the Michigan-Ohio border. They were to be returned to their mother.

“This case is one of the most significant unsolved cases in Michigan,” Detective 1st Lt. Sean Furlong, of the state police’s First District Special Investigation Section, said in a statement. 

The boys’ disappearance sparked a large search in the area. Authorities have said they believe they are dead.

John Skelton, who said he didn’t harm his children, told police he handed the boys over to a group he didn’t identify to protect them from their mother. He pleaded no contest to the charges and is serving 10-15 years in prison.

According to state police, the Morenci Police Department and FBI remain investigative partners in the case. 

Last month, investigators, prosecutors, behavioral experts and staff at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va., gathered to discuss the case, The Daily Telegram of Adrian reported. Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks helped lead discussions.

The public is asked to provide any tips or information to the Michigan State Police at or by calling 855-642-4847.