Marriages Ends For Parents Of Missing Skelton Boys

Case Proceeds As Though 3 Missing Boys Are Still Alive

Published On: Nov 24 2011 03:37:10 PM EST   Updated On: Jun 07 2011 02:50:00 AM EDT
MORENCI, Mich. -

A judge granted a divorce Tuesday to the parents of three missing boys from southeastern Michigan's Lenawee County, a day before the father returns to court to face kidnapping charges.

It was an unusual scene in court. John Skelton represented himself during the brief hearing and was allowed to pose questions to Tanya Skelton. He repeated his claim that he gave his sons to an "organization," which hasn't been identified, but police don't believe him.

If Tanya Skelton receives full custody of the children, "they won't be available to either of us," John Skelton said. Circuit Judge Margaret Noe granted the divorce after a trial that lasted less than an hour.

The boys -- Andrew, Alexander and Tanner -- haven't been seen since they were with their father on Thanksgiving at his home in Morenci, near the Ohio border. John Skelton is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment charges.

Hundreds of people have searched woods and waters in Ohio and Michigan. In February, Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks, concerned that people had false hope of the boys' return, said the case had turned into a homicide investigation.

Tanya Skelton filed for divorce last September. The boys lived with her but were allowed to visit with their father.

"Is it your opinion that the boys are still alive?" John Skelton said in court.

Tanya Skelton was told she didn't have to answer. "Ask another question," the judge said.