It's nearly Thanksgiving, which means it's been three years since three Michigan boys disappeared without a trace. The case of the missing Skelton brothers has borne little fruit of late, but new movement is sparking hope today that the mother of 9-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander, and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton may finally get some answers about what happened to her sons.
Michigan State Police have come out to say they are taking over the three-year-old case from local law enforcement in an effort to keep it from going cold. Got that? They may have been missing for three years, but all is not lost for these little boys or their desperate mom, Tanya Zuvers.
The state cops' first move?
To make the boys' father talk.
John Skelton is already in prison; he pleaded no contest to "unlawful imprisonment" after his children went missing from his house on the holiday in 2010. He's always said he didn't kill the boys, even though investigators have said they fear the children are dead.
But now that he's got the state police hammering on him, who knows what might come of it. Maybe he'll 'fess up to something that will lead to the boys. Whether he was involved or not, the fact remains that they went missing from HIS home. He could well remember something that will help.
The point is, it's not over for these boys. It's not over for Tanya Zuvers.
Big credit here goes to Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks who had the guts to say that his guys just couldn't do it and was willing to pass the case along to the state police. There's no need for a pissing match between law enforcement entities when kids' lives are on the line. It says a lot that he'd step up and do something slightly embarrassing in order to get these kids what they need.
Too often missing child cases that lay dormant for years simply fade away. Cops can only spend so much of their time and money on a case that isn't progressing -- it sounds cruel, but it's simply realistic. Unless they are willing to bring in fresh eyes, that's where it ends.
And unless the parents have the means to hire their own private investigator -- which isn't cheap -- their only recourse is to hound the cops and hope someone will take pity on them and bring their kids' file back out.
It's up to some cops who really care to put kids in the forefront, to set aside their own feelings about giving up "their case" or having to share to make sure they have every possible advantage on their side. The Skelton boys and their mom deserve this. As Zuvers told her local media:
I’m ready for the answer. I just am tired of having to wait.
Hopefully the end of waiting is in sight.
What do you think should happen with missing child cases as they start to go cold? Should they be given up by the local police?
Image via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children