One year later: Resolution of Skelton saga needed 2011.11.30

Written by David Green.

Thumbing through old issues of the Observer from last fall shows daily life in a small Midwestern community. The band plays at football game intermissions. A kitten is rescued from a sewer. Guests arrive for a special library program. Preparations are made for the annual community Thanksgiving meal.

And then it hits.

The first issue of December tells the story of the disappearance of three young brothers. It’s a story that no one expects to happen here or in any small town in America.

It’s a story of shock and disbelief that touches everyone in the community, and now, a year later, it’s a story of an unresolved tragedy.

For family members and close friends, it’s something that’s been on their minds every day of the year. Others may remember only occasionally, such as when they drive through the neighborhood or pass a yellow ribbon on a downtown light pole, but everyone, no matter how close they are to the family, shares in the outrage.

Perhaps the community has changed through the Skelton brothers’ disappearance. Maybe we’ve had a strong lesson in appreciating our children. We’ve learned to push aside some of our personal wants and come together to help others.

The boys’ mother, Tanya Zuvers, hopes and prays there won’t be a second anniversary of her sons’ disappearance. She, like so many others, wants the matter to be resolved.

Many people were astounded Sunday afternoon to learn the Skelton boys are three of nearly 3,100 Michigan residents who have disappeared and remain unaccounted for. Many have been missing for 10, 20 and more years.

Those statistics point toward the possibility that a resolution might not come for a long time, no matter how diligent the efforts of law enforcement personnel.

In the meantime, the yellow ribbons remain visible in town and people will continue to fear the worst while holding out hope for the best.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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