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      Father of missing Skelton brothers makes a surprise plea in court

      9-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton went missing in November. / File photo

      The Morenci, Mich. father whose three young sons have been missing since Thanksgiving has pleaded no contest to three charges of unlawful imprisonment, according to WNWO's sister station WDIV.

      "The plea agreement was entered into with the support of the Morenci Police Department, Lenawee County Prosecutor's Office and the Zuvers family," Chief Larry Weeks said in a released statement with prosecuting attorney Jonathan Poer. "We believe the plea agreement in this case represents what a jury would likely have concluded based upon the facts and evidence as currently developed."

      Weeks also said the agreement "assures separate felony convictions for each victim, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner."

      John Skelton entered the plea Thursday morning in Lenawee County Circuit court. He insisted he didn't know the whereabouts of 9-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner and won't until he's released.

      Skelton maintains the boys are in the custody of members of an underground sanctuary group. He said he wouldn't hurt his sons and only has the first names of the people who took them.

      "This plea does not interfere with the ongoing investigation in this matter," Weeks said. "We consider this just one more step toward everyone's goal of fully resolving this case."

      Police began treating the case as a homicide investigation February. Multiple search parties of hundreds of locals have scoured woods and water in both Ohio and Michigan.

      If you have any information, please call the Morenci Police Department at 517-458-7104.