The Skelton brothers have been missing since Thanksgiving Day 2010 and their father, the man responsible for their disappearance, may soon be free.

It's hard to believe that it has been so long since three Michigan brothers were last seen. Even more unbelievable is their father was the last known person to be with Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton. John Russell Skelton was sentenced in 2011 to 10-15 years in prison on three counts of unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of his three sons. Last year John was up for parole and it was denied.

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It was a relief to those who have spent over a decade searching for the three boys. While many family members are hopeful that the boys would surface, with each passing year those hopes become slimmer. Knowing John remained behind bars was at least some form of justice for the disappearance of Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner. Now less than a year after being denied parole, John has been once again deemed as eligible.

Courtesy of the family of Andrew, Alexander & Tanner

Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner's mother, Tanya, is now appealing to the public to write letters to John's parole board asking that they not release him until he has served the maximum years of his sentence, which is 15 years. Perhaps being kept behind bars will persuade him to finally come forward with a location of the boys.

Letters can be mailed to:
Michigan Department of Corrections
ATTN: Parole Board Victim's Coordinator
PO Box 30003
Lansing, MI 48909
Please be sure to reference:
Skelton, John Russell #812593
E-mail to:

Age progressed photos of the Skelton Brothers courtesy of NCMEC

Here is the backstory:

The Skelton brothers were only 9, 7, and 5 years old when they went missing from Morenci, Michigan, on November 25, 2010. The boy's parents had separated and their mother, Tanya, had filed for divorce from John Russell Skelton in September of that year. Tanya had custody of the boys.


The divorce and separation were contentious, with many accusations flying between the two. November 26, 2010, John picked up the boys for a court-ordered visit. It was the last time Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton were seen by their mother and the rest of their family.

The last sighting of the boys was Thanksgiving Day in 2010. The boys were seen playing in their father's backyard in southern Lenawee County. John Skelton's phone was traced to Ohio the following day.

John's story has changed many times, implicating others who have voluntarily stepped forward to deny any involvement. One of John's claims is that he handed the boys off to an underground network, possibly tied to the Amish community. At the time of the boy's disappearance, John was driving a blue 2000 Dodge Caravan. Investigators still hope that witnesses come forward that may have seen something that morning.

John Skelton was sentenced in 2011 to 10-15 years in prison on three counts of unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of his three sons. He claims he gave the boys to an underground group to keep them safe from abuse.

If you have information on the disappearance of Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton, you are asked to contact Michigan State Police at 1-517-636-0689.

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