Three Boys Disappeared While In Their Father's Custody On Thanksgiving. He's In Jail But Not On Murder Charges.

Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Michigan Department of Corrections; MEGA

Alexander, Andrew, Tanner and John Skelton.

Nov. 22 2022, Published 2:22 p.m. ET

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Three Michigan brothers younger than 10 years old suspiciously disappeared from their father's home the day after Thanksgiving approximately 12 years ago. Their father remains in prison on an unlawful imprisonment charge and continues to insist that he gave the kids to someone to keep them safe.

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Are they with an underground group? Perhaps an unknown woman? Maybe with family friends?

No one, other than John Skelton, seems to know after he gave police all three possibilities while changing his story three times.

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Thanksgiving marks a grim holiday annually for Tanya Zuvers, the mother of Alexander, Andrew and Tanner Skelton, who went missing Nov. 26, 2010, the day after the holiday while in the custody of their father.

Andrew was 9, Alexander was 7 and Tanner was 5 at the time. They would be 20, 18 and 16 today.

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"I never thought we would still be sitting here at 10 years," Zuvers told WTOL in 2020. "I thought this would be resolved by now, but here we are."

According to Fox 2 Detroit, Zuvers became worried when she couldn't get a hold of her ex-husband the day after Thanksgiving. She decided to go to the home, and no one was there as John was in the hospital with a broken ankle and the boys were nowhere to be found.

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The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children told Fox 2 Detroit that John had told hospital workers that he broke his ankle that day by attempting to commit suicide. When police arrived at the Morenci, Michigan home, they found it "destroyed," according to Fox 2 Detroit.


Skelton, who was denied parole in August 2022, is being housed at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan. He had been sentenced to 10-15 years in prison.

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Fox 2 Detroit reported that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children stated that Thanksgiving Day 2010 wasn't the first time John took the children from Zuvers. He had also been accused of taking them out of school two months before their disappearance to allegedly visit his parents in Florida.

John and Zuvers divorced following that incident, and Zuvers was granted custody of the kids just before they disappeared, Fox 2 Detroit reported. Despite plenty of suspicion from police that John is responsible for the boys' disappearance, he has not been charged in their possible deaths.

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Still, police are not holding out much hope that the boys are still alive.

“There were some early indicators within the first week or so that led me to believe something nefarious had happened with the boys. It wasn’t going to be a matter of finding them alive somewhere. It was going to be something more horrible happened to them,” former Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks told WTOL.

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John Skelton will be out of prison in 2025, if not earlier depending on parole hearings. Zuvers, meanwhile, just wants some closure.

“Realistically I know that, chances are, my boys are living in a better world than we live in and that gives me comfort as a Christian. I know that I will be reunited with them someday. But I still want that knock on the door that says, 'Hey Mom, we’re home,'" Zuvers told WTOL.


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