Michigan police are hopeful that a new discovery in Montana could help to solve the mysterious cold case of three missing children from 2010.
The Skelton brothers went missing while in the care of their father, John Skelton, just after Thanksgiving in 2010. They were 9, 7, and 5 years old respectively. John Skelton is now serving 10-15 years in jail after pleading no contest to three counts of unlawful imprisonment. He told authorities he "gave the boys to unknown individuals.”
This week, the remains of three children were found in a shed on a rental property in Missoula, Montana, and Michigan police think the Skelton brothers might finally have been found.
A tenant was evicted from the house over the summer, and a cleaning crew was hired in September to prepare the house for new renters. They called Missoula Police when they found a box of teeth and bones in the shed.
Michigan State Police have confirmed that they're investigating whether the remains could belong to the Skelton brothers. The Missoulian reports that the evidence was sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for DNA testing, which runs the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
The mother of the three missing boys, Tanya Zuvers, posted on Facebook shortly after the case went public.
She's hopeful that there will at least be some closure for her family after all this time. Zuvers told Detroit News that she's continued to buy birthday, Christmas, and Easter presents for her sons in hopes that they'd come home and open them all one day.
“The thing is, there are missing children all over the world," Missoula Police Searteant Travis Welsh told reporters. "And the thing is, we don’t know that this particular case is isolated to the city of Missoula. We don’t know where the bones came from, and if they were transported from one area to another, and ended up here.”
John Skelton will say nothing about the case surrounding his sons' disappearance. Initially, police believed Skelton had killed the boys to get back at their mother for the vicious custody battle they were going through.
Throughout his trial, Skelton had conflicting testimonies, but ultimately stood by the claim that he'd given his sons to a stranger to keep them away from Zuvers.