Sale of Skelton house OKd 2011.05.11

Written by David Green.

With warming weather comes an increase in outdoor activities. Don and Bev Zuvers hope that someone out enjoying spring weather will find a clue to the disappearance of their three grandchildren, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton.

The Zuvers, along with family friend Kathye Herrera and the Rev. Donna Galloway of the Morenci United Methodist Church, met with media representatives  at the church May 3 to remind people to remain aware when they’re outside.

If anyone sees anything unusual, Don Zuvers said, don’t hesitate to call the police. Reward funds of up to $60,000 are available to pay for tips leading to the recovery of the boys.

Investigators have been unable to make any headway in solving the mystery of the boys’ disappearance. Their father, John Skelton, 39, remains in the Lenawee County jail facing charges of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

Skelton insists that he gave the boys to a group called United Foster Outreach, but police consider the case a homicide.

The Zuvers urge Skelton to give investigators the information needed to enable police to find the boys.

Morenci police chief Larry Weeks said that staff from the Michigan State Police and the FBI remain dedicated to the investigation and he continues to have contact with the investigators several times a week.


A Detroit television station obtained police documents listing the items confiscated from the Skelton home following the disappearance of the boys on Thanksgiving 2010.

Station WDIV sued Lenawee District Court to obtain the documents, claiming they are of public interest. Judge James Sheridan suppressed the release of the documents until the investigation is completed or until 180 days have passed, whichever comes first, in accordance with state law.

Personnel from WDIV are not giving the source of the search warrant documents. Chief Weeks said that when items are removed during an investigation, state law requires that a list of the materials removed is kept by police, with a copy given to the court and another left at the search location.

WDIV posted barely legible copies of the search warrant documents on its website. Items include cleaning products, a hunting knife and a rope noose. Skelton claims to have tried to hang himself after giving the boys away to a group.

Chief Weeks cautions people against drawing conclusions from the list of items confiscated.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    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.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    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.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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