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Seven Years Later, Michigan Brothers Remain Missing (Photos)

Seven Years Later, Michigan Brothers Remain Missing (Photos) Promo Image

This Thanksgiving weekend marks the seventh year since three brothers from Morenci, Michigan, went missing after their father allegedly gave them away to a group.

The boys went missing on Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving in 2010, after their father John Skelton failed to bring the children back to their mother Tanya, WDIV reports.

Tanya notified the police and an Amber Alert was issued throughout Michigan and Ohio. The boys -- Alexander, Andrew and Tanner -- were nine, seven and five years old at the time of their disappearance.

The search was unsuccessful, though the residents of the small-town of Morenci remain aware of the incident.

"There are still some posters up here and there," said Jeremy Brewer, a Michigan State Police detective sergeant who is investigating the case. "There's yellow ribbons hanging on some doors as you look around town, but it's just -- it's kind of sad."

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The father is serving a 10-15 year prison sentence on a unlawful imprisonment charge. He accepted the charge without contest in September 2011, saying he gave the boys to "a group." He supposedly did it to protect the boys from their mother, WWJ reports

Authorities charged Tanya with fourth-degree criminal misconduct for having sex with a 14-year-old boy in the late 1990s, according to WDIV. She denies she ever abused her own children.

"That has all been investigated" Tanya said. "My stuff was gone through. My children come first. Always have, always will. My dream job was to be a mom, and it is the greatest job in the world. But to say that I abused my sons, [that] kills me."

Skelton's story has changed over the years, but at one point he claimed he gave the boys to the Amish.

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One Amish woman from Camden, Michigan, told WDIV that the Amish would have welcomed the boys into their community initially, but that they would have returned them upon realizing they were the missing Skelton boys. She said she remembers reading about the case in the newspaper.

The community remains hopeful that the boys are alive. A local pizza shop still has, "Keep the boys in your prayers!" written on its specials sign, according to The Detroit News.

Investigators fear the worst might be true. After thousands of tips and seven years, there is still no sign of the boys.

In a last-ditch effort, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released computer-generated images of what the boys might look like today.

"It’s just another tool we have," said Brewer. "It gives us and the public a better idea of what we’re looking for."

Sources: WDIV (2), WWJThe Detroit News / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Dale G. Young/The Detroit News, via WWJ

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