Search continues for missing Morenci brothers

Andrew Skelton, Alexander Skelton, and Tanner Skelton

The search for three missing Morenci brothers continues. Hundreds of volunteers searched through miles of wooded area Sunday looking for anything that may lead them to nine-year-old Andrew Skelton, seven-year-old Alexander Skelton and five-year-old Tanner Skelton.

Many of the volunteers were up and ready to search at first light Sunday. They say they're looking for any clues or any indication as to where the boys may have been last or could be now.

According to Morenci police Chief Larry Weeks, the searches are being conducted in places known to the boys, or where the boys have been seen previously. Chief Weeks says the searches are not being done off of any specific information that suggests the brothers are there.

Marc Pilbeam and his family have been close friends with the Skelton family for years. Families are quite upset and concerned about where these little children are, said Pilbeam.

Three days have passed since the brothers were reportedly last seen. Their father, John Skelton, says he gave his sons to a woman he met on the internet Friday. He told police the woman TMs name is Joann Taylor. On the same day, Skelton says he turned his children over in her care, before he attempted to commit suicide.

Police say they have not found any evidence linking a Joann Taylor to the disappearance of the Skelton boys. Chief Weeks says they will continue looking for information proving Taylor exists.

Haley Simpkins spent several hours over the Thanksgiving weekend searching for something, anything that may help. I don TMt really know, I think that we just want to rule out this area.

Volunteers combed through the brush and wooded areas of several different locations. They left no piece of debris unturned as helicopters flew low, assisting with the search from the sky.

It was an exhausting task, both physically and mentally for Bill Foster who knows the boys well. It TMs heart wrenching that we TMre out here looking but we TMre going to look until we find them," said Foster.

The FBI as well as the Michigan State Police are assisting in the investigation. John Skelton is being held and evaluated by behavioral scientists.

Anyone with information is asked to call the task force at 517-458-7104.