Missing boys' father fights return to Michigan, held on $3M bond

Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton

The father of three missing Morenci boys, currently being held in the Lucas County Jail, is fighting his return to Michigan.

John Skelton, 39, is being held on $3 million bond after being charged with three counts of parental kidnapping in the case which has gripped communities across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. He was arrested on Tuesday immediately following his release from an area hospital.

Skelton, who has been hospitalized under psychiatric care since Friday, does not wish to waive extradition to Lenawee County, where he lives, and where the boys were last seen. He was present in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday morning, sitting in a wheelchair and answering the judge's questions in simple yes-or-no whispers.

The search for Skelton's three young sons entered a fifth day Wednesday, after the boys were reported missing Friday.

5-year-old Tanner, 7-year-old Alexander, and 9-year-old Andrew were last seen in the backyard of Skelton's Morenci home on Thanksgiving Day. Skelton told authorities he gave the boys to a woman who was to take them back to their mother's home because he did not want his sons in the house when he attempted to kill himself.

According to sources, Morenci Police say John Skelton has admitted to FBI profilers that he killed his sons; however, authorities have decided to hold him on the kidnapping charges at this time.

With bond set at $3 million, Skelton is scheduled to next scheduled appear in a Lucas County courtroom on Dec. 14. He is being held in the Lucas County Jail.

Authorities have said their search for the boys has evolved from a rescue to a recovery effort. Searches by an army of volunteers and crews continues in southern Michigan and Williams County, Ohio.