UPDATE 5/15/19 – The authorities have released a photo of what the boys would look like now.
Missing Person Michigan Skelton Brothers
Feb. 9, 2018 – The bones found in the Montana shed have turned out to NOT belong to the Skelton brothers. Although the laboratory analysis suggested they were recent bones, the forensic examination done determined the bones were more than 99 years old and some of the bones appear to be Native American. The remains were from three children whose ages ranged from 2 to 5, 5 to 9, and 6 to 8. The limited amount of remains made it difficult to identify the sex, stature or ancestry of the remains. John stated last week that he knew the bones did not belong to his sons. Are the Skelton brothers still out there as John stated they are?
Background on the missing Skelton brothers
The missing Skelton brothers, Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, have not been seen since Thanksgiving day, 2010. Their father, John Skelton, of Morenci, Michigan, who was with them on that day, refused to bring them back to his ex-wife Tanya Zuvers. First he said the boys were with someone, then later changed the story to he left them with an underground group to keep them away from his ex-wife, Tanya Zuvers. In 1998, Zuvers pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual conduct of having sex with a 14-year-old boy. She stated she never abused her own children.
John refused to tell the court where the missing Skelton brothers were, so he was sentenced to 10-15 years with time served. The charge for kidnapping was dismissed under a plea agreement and he pleaded no contest to unlawful imprisonment. The Morenci police chief believed that John had murdered the children and was building a case, but charges never came.
There was hope through the years that the three missing Skelton brothers really were with an underground group. The discovery of the bones brings up the possibility the boys are deceased. Found in a shed behind a home in Missoula, Montana in a box was the bones. Michigan authorities announced they were working with Missoula police to see whether there is a connection between the bones and the missing Skeleton brothers.
A laboratory analysis stated that the remains were recent and they belonged to three children: one between the ages of 5 and 8, one between 6 and 10, and the third between 2 and 4 years old. It would be unusual to find one set of children’s bones, let alone a set of three different children bones. Also, the bones are around the same ages that the missing Skelton brothers were when they went missing.
The tenants that were living there were evicted from the home by the landlord. The place was left in such a mess he called in a professional cleaning crew. They started with the house and then moved to the shed. Inside the shed they found a box with bones and teeth.
“Loose teeth, there was what appeared to be bone from a lower jaw, and others that were not as specifically described, but I would call them pieces of bones,” Missoula Police spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh told KPAX. “There were also rocks in this box.”
“Further forensic testing has been requested by police in Montana that may provide more answers,” the release said. “Until this testing is completed and additional investigation by law enforcement in Montana occurs, it cannot be determined if these remains belong to the missing Skelton brothers.”
Tanya Zubers posted a message on Facebook: “OUR FAMILY STATEMENT regarding the news out of Missoula Montana…
This information has just been presented to our family within the last several hours. We are processing it and hopeful that we will have answers soon. We are thankful for all your thoughts and prayers.”
The report also said Missoula police have identified a person who they want to interview in connection with the discovery of the remains per a search warrant shown on ABCFOX. The person used to live in the house years back.
If the bones are confirmed to belong to the missing Skelton brothers, the next step is for the investigation is to find out how they got to a shed in Montana.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2017
LANSING, MICH. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, the Michigan State Police (MSP) First District Special Investigation Section learned that human remains were found in Montana in September, that were recently determined to likely be the skeletal remains of three children.
MSP investigators are working with Missoula police to determine if there is any connection to Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton who were reported missing from Morenci in Lenawee County the day after Thanksgiving in 2010. There has been nothing previously reported to police linking the brothers to Montana, and it is not known at this time if the remains are from related siblings.
Further forensic testing has been requested by police in Montana that may provide more answers. Until this testing is completed and additional investigation by law enforcement in Montana occurs, it cannot be determined if these remains belong to the missing Skelton brothers.
In the years since the Skelton brothers disappeared, their vanishing has been vigorously investigated by the Morenci Police Department, FBI and MSP. Significant assistance has also been provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In 2013, the MSP became the lead investigating agency. New age-progression photos of the three brothers were released in November 2016.
At the time the boys went missing they were in the care of their father, John Skelton. Skelton pleaded no contest to three counts of unlawful imprisonment in September 2011, after he claimed he gave the boys to unknown individuals. Skelton is currently serving a 10-15 year prison sentence.
The public is asked to provide any tips or information to the MSP at www.michigan.gov/michtip or by calling 517-636-0689.
D/Lt. Jeremy Brewer, MSP First District Headquarters, 517-636-0689