MP of the week: Andrew Skelton (and, by extension, his brothers)

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.

MP news snippets

Per Justin: it looks like Mitrice Richardson’s parents and Los Angeles County have reached a settlement. See my previous Mitrice writings here. Los Angeles County has agreed to shell out 900k for whatever mistakes they made before and after her death. Personally, I don’t think she was the victim of a homicide, but this was a very tragic case all around.

The prosecutor in the Jeanine Sanchez Harms case has announced that the evidence proves Maurice Nasmeh, the prime suspect in her disappearance, killed her. Nasmeh had been charged with murder, but the charges were dropped to give the authorities time to retest crucial physical evidence. Now the tests are over. It’s a little late, though, because Harms’s brother murdered Nasmeh early this year.

Somehow I missed this, but last month John Skelton pleaded no contest to false imprisonment in the disappearances of his three sons, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner. The boys have been missing without a trace since last November and were probably killed by their father. Homicide charges may be filed in the future as evidence warrants. In the meantime, John faces up to fifteen years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for September 15.

The News Tribune has written again about Misty Copsey: this article about her disappearance and this article about possible suspects in her case. (I commented on the first article.) The News Tribune did a three-part series about Misty two years ago, which provided a lot of new information on the case.

A human skull found in Temple, Texas has been identified as Daniel Patrick Sullivan, a 55-year-old who’d been missing since April 2009. The police say there’s no evidence of foul play, but the death is under investigation and the cause and manner of death are undetermined. It looks like they haven’t found anything but the skull, which obviously places limitations on how much they can find out.

Jamie sent me this article about four senior citizens who have been missing Vancouver, British Columbia Huntsville, Ontario since the late nineties. They were “vulnerable” because they were estranged from their families, had health problems and had been in and out of homeless shelters. Their names: Joan Dorothy Lawrence (age 77), John James Semple (89), John Leroy Crofts (70) and Ralph Bernard Grant (69). Foul play is suspected in their disappearances.

Skelton case brings back memories of older one

I’m sure everyone knows by now about the disappearances of Alexander, Andrew and Tanner Skelton. Their parents were in a custody battle and their father had abducted them before. Last week Dad took them for a visit and, he says, dropped them off with a lady friend so they wouldn’t see him kill himself. His suicide attempt failed, the boys are missing now and the police don’t think Skelton’s lady friend exists. This article provides a good summary.

This case reminds me very much of a 52-year-old one recently put on the NCMEC: Myrisha Campbell, age 3, and her 11-month-old brother, A.J. The children’s father, A.J. Sr., also took them for a visitation and then tried suicide — successfully in his case. Before he died he made statements to the effect that he had killed the children, and he said as much in his suicide note. In spite of an extensive search the two children’s bodies were never found. I suppose the NCMEC posted them in a last-ditch hope that the bodies might turn up and need to be identified. Their poor mother. I don’t know if she’s still alive. I can’t imagine how she managed to survive such a tragedy.

Nothing new under the sun.

Those poor kids — the Skelton boys and the Campbell children — look so cute and contented in their pictures. Sigh.