Michigan man accused of kidnapping fights extradition

Alexander, Andrew and Tanner Skelton were last seen the day before their father reportedly tried to kill himself. (AP)

December 1, 2010 7:31:06 AM PST
A father charged with kidnapping his three missing boys is fighting extradition from Ohio back to Michigan, his lawyer told a judge on Wednesday.

John Skelton, a 39-year-old unemployed long-haul truck driver, sat throughout the court hearing in Toledo, Ohio, in a wheelchair covered by a green blanket and answered the judge's yes-or-no questions in a whisper. His attorney said his client would fight his return to Michigan to face the charges against him.

An army of volunteers are expected to trudge again on Wednesday across harvested fields, woodlands and dirt back roads in search of 9-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton, who have not been seen since Thanksgiving.

Skelton was arrested Tuesday on three counts of parental kidnapping, and so far, police say, the boys' father hasn't told authorities much that they can use as the search for the boys evolves from rescue to recovery. After Skelton waived extradition, the judge in Ohio set bond at $3 million and scheduled another hearing for Dec. 14.

"He's been forthcoming with some information, the credibility of which we can't verify," Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said Tuesday.

Weeks acknowledged police don't expect a "positive outcome" to the case after talking to Skelton over the course of the investigation.

Crews have searched parts of southern Michigan in and around Morenci, a small town of 2,000 people about 75 miles southwest of Detroit. They've also scoured hundreds of acres just south of Morenci in northwest Ohio for the boys.


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