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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • 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.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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