On November 26th, 2010, a mother faces her worst nightmare.
Andrew, 9 years old, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, disappear. The boys’ father, John Skelton, is the main suspect. Almost a decade later, the mystery of what happened to the boys remains open, with their small Michigan hometown wondering - could a father have committed an unimaginable crime?
Reporter Jeremy Allen investigates.
Episode 1: Shattered
The Skelton family, a family of 5, once whole and together has been broken. John, the father, begins acting erratically and eventually pushes mom (Tanya) too far. Life as a family has been shattered, but John's not done there. His anger towards Tanya leads to the eventually disappearance of 9- year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton. But how and why?
Episode 2: Irreversible
Andrew, Alexander and Tanner are missing. But before their father, John made them vanish a storm was brewing between mom and dad. Tanya gives us a glimpse into life with John, before Black Friday 2010. Her stories paint a picture of deceit, detachment and rage.
Part one of my conversations with Tanya.
Episode 3: Maze Runners
John Skelton sits alone in a cell, with all the answers locked away deep inside his mind. Chief Larry Weeks and Detective Lt. Jeremy Brewer are the past and present lead investigators on the case. Is there any way to find the answers, find the boys without John's cooperation?
Episode 4: A Family Thing
We go into the home of Tanya Skelton. This time we get into the alleged abuse of her own sons and how John's family is more than suspicious. Tanya also reveals what built her back up after an emotional breakdown.
Episode 5: Me, Myself and John
With his 3 sons missing, John sits inside a Michigan prison cell. He doesn't seem worried, but he also doesn't seem to feel guilty. Hear John tell his story, for the first time, in his own words.
Episode 6: A Simpler Story
John Skelton's stories change every time he tells them. One that has been told ... more than once, is that he gave his children to the Amish. Because they are such a private people, there's no record of their thoughts on this possibility. WDIV's Sandra Ali and I hit the road to get a firsthand account from the Amish. A long, strange trip that enlightened us in many different ways.
Episode 7: Holiday Road
Early morning, Black Friday 2010, John Skelton's cell phone registers to cell phone towers between Morenci and Holiday City, Ohio. Somewhere along this route is where police believe he made his children disappear. Lead Investigator Jeremy Brewer takes us on a ride, following that very route. The road to Holiday city.
Episode 8: Southern Discomfort
John Skelton’s family in Morenci stays tight-lipped about the case. His mother, father and sister live a thousand miles away in Florida. I head to Jacksonville, seeking a perspective that we haven’t heard before.
Episode 9: Missoula, Montana
As investigators work the Skelton case in Michigan, something pops up, but way off their radar. Human remains are found in Missoula, Montana – the remains of 3 kids. Lead Investigator Jeremy Brewer and Tanya try to figure out a connection to Montana. Tanya also struggles with what John Skelton’s family is saying about the case, her boys and her role in it.
Episode 10: Dear John
John Skelton has been silent for the better part of a decade. WDIV’s Sandra Ali and Jeremy Allen do their best to get him to speak. In the meantime, police bring someone with Amish ties to confront John.
Episode 11: Inmate #812593
After the exchange of letters, a visit to the prison and many emails, John Skelton calls us on the phone. The public will hear John’s words in his own voice for the first time in several years. He talks about his meeting with Mose Gingerich, his heart breaking for his ex-wife Tanya and how one of Tanya’s sisters prompted him to reach out and finally call. John discusses hate mail, his internet searches and so much more...
Episode 12: Getting to the Point
Tanner, Alexander and Andrew Skelton’s whereabouts continue to be a mystery. Their father, John has kept the information needed to crack the case locked up inside his head, but now he’s talking. In our second conversation on the phone with John, he opens up about his love for Tanya and admits he made a big mistake. He also says there were other people at his house, who drove his van early in the morning, back on Black Friday 2010.
Update: July 2019
Age progession photo released of Skelton Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton.