Missing Morenci brothers featured on national TV - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Missing Morenci brothers featured on national TV

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Three young brothers who have been missing for more than two years were featured on national television Wednesday night. Former "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh profiled the case of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton on an episode of his new show on the Lifetime Network.

13abc's Christine Long watched the show with the Skelton brothers' mother.

Tanya Zuvers sat in her living room, watching the story of her family's real life unsolved crime on an episode of "John Walsh Investigates" called "Abduction in the Heartland."

"This could be the break that we need," says Zuvers. "I even went so far as to think tomorrow at this time my boys could be home."

Host John Walsh sent a crew to Morenci in December. He interviewed Zuvers about the disappearance of her sons, who vanished in November of 2010.

The boys, ages 9, 7 and 5 at the time were last seen in the custody of their father John Skelton at his Morenci home on Thanksgiving Day. Skelton and Zuvers were in the middle of a divorce at the time.

Hundreds of volunteers searched for a week to no avail.

John Skelton is now locked up, serving 10-to-15 years for unlawful imprisonment. At the time of sentencing, a judge said Skelton told detectives the boys would "hibernate until they graduate."

The Morenci police chief says the boys' father told several lies over the course of the investigation. John Skelton first told investigators he gave the boys to a woman named Joann Taylor. Then he said he gave them to the Amish, and then it was a long haul trucker.

Both the chief and the boys' mom agree that national exposure could help solve the case.

"The tips certainly have diminished significantly over the past 2 and a half years," says Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks. "We only get a small handful every now and then."

Chief Weeks was also featured in the Lifetime show, pointing to age-progression pictures as a way to keep the boys in the spotlight, a spotlight he hopes will generate a new wave of tips.

"We believe this is a homicide case, but we process all tips that come in," says Weeks. "We certainly will pursue those, whether the tip is they're alive or they're deceased."

Zuvers says she's not giving up hope that someday her boys will be found alive. Like the missing girls recently found in Cleveland, she hopes that someone will spot them and help bring them home.

"We've only been dealing with this for 2 and a half years. Their parents dealt with this for 10 and got their happy ending," says Zuvers. "If this isn't our happy ending and this isn't our time, it's coming. We will get our happy ending."

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