Shiawassee searchers find no clues in missing Skelton brothers case 2011.07.13

Written by David Green.

front.searchSaturday proved to be a long, strenuous day, said Morenci police chief Larry Weeks, but also a valuable one. 

More than 50 people participated in a day-long training exercise with the Shiawassee County Search and Rescue Team in the Morenci area, and Weeks said some new knowledge was gained.

The Shiawassee agency conducts an annual day of training and the group chose to travel to Morenci for this year’s session. This would give members their organized practice while also checking for clues relating to the Skelton brothers who disappeared from their home in Morenci on Thanksgiving Day.

“Obviously I’m disappointed that we didn’t locate any useful evidence [relating to the Skeltons],” Weeks said, but he noted that’s a bittersweet situation.

“You want to find something and you don’t want to find something,” he said.

After media reports surfaced about finding items that were likely related to the Skeltons, Chief Weeks issued the following statement:

“There have been conflicting reports that items obtained during Saturday’s search exercise were in fact evidentiary in nature. Those reports are inaccurate. Some items not readily identified were collected by searches and assessed at the end of the day. None of the items collected were confirmed as having any connection with the Skelton case and no laboratory analysis is planned at this time.

A number of bones were located, all of which appear to be animal in nature and not human. Additional review may take place to confirm that but at this time we have no reason to believe any of them have any value in the Skelton investigation.”

About 35 area public safety volunteers joined the Shiawassee team. The searchers were in the field from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“I learned some specialized techniques on how they conduct search and rescue,” Weeks said. “I learned some new techniques that I wasn’t aware of. We’re more experienced now and better prepared should we conduct additional searches.”

It proved to be a hot, tiring day in the field, he said, but it was a good experience overall.

“I hope everyone took away something positive,” he said. “I know I did.”

Participants included representatives from Morenci’s police and fire departments, Clayton Fire Department, Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department Reserves, Raisin Township Police Department, Adrian Police Department, Hudson Police Department, Cambridge Township Police Department, Adrian Township Fire Department, the Community Emergency Response Team and the Michigan State Police.

  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017