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.

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    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
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    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
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