Local 4 investigates father's claim he gave missing Skelton brothers to Amish group 7 years ago

Amish don't believe missing Skelton boys were given to them

By Sandra Ali - Anchor/Reporter , Derick Hutchinson

MORENCI, Mich. - The case of the missing Skelton brothers has taken many twists and turns since they disappeared on Black Friday in 2010.

Much of the speculation around where Andrew, Alexander and Tanner could have gone focuses on Amish country and whether their father, John Skelton, left them there.

The brothers disappeared seven years ago when their father claimed to have given them to "a group." He even mentioned the Amish as being the group.

The Amish live all over Michigan, and even more are in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Local 4 visited an Amish bakery in Camden, Michigan.

Amish people don't use electricity or cars, and they live by old standards. But they stay informed.

An Amish woman said she reads the newspaper every day so she's aware of current events, both national and local. She is 20 years old and remembers when the boys from Morenci went missing.

"I just remember it was in the paper every day," she said. "Yeah, I remember that."

She said she didn't remember that John Skelton claimed to have given his sons to the Amish. But she said if someone brought children there, the Amish community would take them in.

The Amish might care for children that were dropped off, but they would know who they are. They would know they were the missing boys from Morenci.

"I'd think they would call the police or someone," the Amish woman said. "They would. It's not like they would hide them."

She said the communities stay in contact with one another, and if the boys turned up, the whole group would know.

The girl's father, Cylus, cut the interview short because the technology used to record was against their beliefs.

John Skelton's story about dropping the boys off sounds far-fetched to many, but that was just one woman's side of the story.

Local 4 stopped at a farm, just off a main road, and met a man named Jason, who was open and inviting. He said his father built his home and his family has lived there for their entire lives.

Jason's family greeted our crew and showed us around the home. They showed us their newspaper, and started talking about the Skelton case.

"I don't think anyone would (take the boys in)," Jason's mother said. "Everybody knows what everybody does. I can't imagine it. That'd be strange if all of a sudden three boys just showed up. I've been here all my life, and I've never heard anything like that."

The family believes the first move would have been to call authorities.

"The first thing they'd do is report it," Jason said. "We always have our rules we have to follow. Everybody has their beliefs, or whatever, but I would like to guarantee they aren't around here."

Investigators have followed all the leads John Skelton offered, knowing that they are all likely to be lies. The Amish have spoke with the police, but nothing has come from it, so the search continues.

John Skelton remains in prison. His stories have changed many times throughout the years.

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