No Search Planned for Mich. Boys Over Weekend

MORENCI, Mich. -- The intensive search for three young brothers last seen at their father's Michigan home on Thanksgiving was officially suspended for the weekend Friday as authorities worked to determine what else should be done to find the boys.

Morenci police had said Friday would be the final day this week for an organized search using volunteers, and fire official Bob Mohr said no search was planned for Saturday or Sunday.

Still, it's unlikely the hundreds of people who have turned out to comb the southern Michigan and northern Ohio countryside will stop looking for the Skelton brothers -- Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5 -- even though police have said they don't expect a positive outcome.

The boys' father, John Skelton, faces three kidnapping charges and is fighting extradition from Ohio to Michigan. He remains jailed on a $3 million bond.

Morenci police Chief Larry Weeks said earlier this week that Skelton, 39, has provided some information, but authorities have had no contact with him during the past few days.

The boys' mother, Tanya Skelton, 44, reported them missing Nov. 26 after their father didn't return them from a court-ordered visitation. Police say John Skelton lied to investigators when he said he gave the boys to a female acquaintance to hand over to their mother before he tried to commit suicide.

John Skelton's attorney at the extradition hearing has said he wouldn't comment on anything about the case.

Officials have said they want to take the weekend to assess their next steps in the investigation but have not said whether organized searches will resume. Mohr said if volunteers are needed to search again, authorities will put out the word through the media.

The search has consumed Morenci, a town of about 2,000 residents 75 miles southwest of Detroit. Saturday's annual Christmas parade has been cancelled, and City Hall shut down so it could be used as a command center.

Much of the search in recent days had centered on three counties in the northwestern corner of Ohio. Dive teams scoured lakes, rivers and a gravel pit, while buses carried hundreds of volunteers to remote roads and fields.