Father of 3 missing brothers skipped parole hearing


An Aug. 2, 2020, photo of John Skelton from the Michigan Department of Corrections.

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A man serving prison time in the disappearance of his three sons didn’t show up to a recent parole hearing, state prison officials confirm.

That means John Skelton, 49, who’s being held at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, probably won’t be released this year. His next parole hearing will be in about a year, a Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman said.

Tanner, Alexander and Andrew Skelton were last seen Nov. 26, 2010, when they were 5, 7 and 9, respectively. They went to visit their father at his home in Morenci, near the Michigan-Ohio border, but John Skelton never returned them to their mother.

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An undated courtesy photo of Tanner, Alexander and Andrew Skelton, who went missing in 2010.

Skelton previously told authorities he gave the boys to an unidentified group to protect them from their mother. Investigators don’t buy that — they believe the boys are dead. Their mother has acknowledged she will likely never see them again.

Since their bodies have not been found, however, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children continues to release age progression photos. The latest show what they would look like at ages 15, 17 and 19. Anyone with information about their disappearance or where they may be now can call 1.800.THE.LOST (843.5678) or Michigan State Police at 517.636.0689.

Skelton was sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison on three counts of unlawful imprisonment. His earliest release date was in November 2020, but he was denied parole. His sentence runs out in November 2025.

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