This week’s featured missing person is Andrew Ryan Skelton, age 9, who disappeared along with his brothers Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, from Morenci, Michigan the day after Thanksgiving in 2010. The boys are all adorable and remind me of my nephews when they were that age.
This case is an exceptionally sad one, even by Charley Project standards. The boys’ father made off with them and was later located alone. He made a half-hearted suicide attempt and was hospitalized, then charged with kidnapping in connection to his sons’ disappearances. John Skelton pleaded guilty to lesser charges of false imprisonment was sent to prison for a ten- to fifteen-year term. He claims the boys are safe but refuses to reveal their whereabouts — in my opinion, because he knows he’ll be facing a lot longer than ten to fifteen years if the three children are located. I’m pretty sure they’re dead.
As I’ve said before, this case remains me very much of the still-unsolved Campbell case from over 50 years ago. It also makes me think of the disappearances of Sarah and Philip Gehring, murdered by their father, whose remains were recovered in 2005. And the Porter case, another homicide by a parent; Sam and Lindsey Porter’s bodies were located in 2007, after they’d been missing more than three years. All of the aforementioned children are or were featured on Charley.
If you ask me, John Skelton should remain in prison until he discloses the boys’ location, one way or the other. (Alexander, Tanner and Andrew’s mother hopes they’re still alive.) But he’s been in jail since shortly after they disappeared, over three years, and seems to show no signs of cracking. He seems to be a man so full of hatred and despair that he doesn’t care what happens to him anymore.