Skelton Brothers: Author sheds new light on search for missing brothers

Published: Feb. 12, 2019 at 5:57 AM EST
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It's been more than eight years since Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton disappeared on Thanksgiving Day 2010 and the case remains unsolved.

Their father, John Skelton, initially told investigators that he had given them to an underground organization. He is now serving a 15-year sentence for unlawful imprisonment, but their mother, Tanya Zuvers believes something different.

"I have, for several years now, I guess, accepted the fact that my boys probably are not alive," she told 13abc, continuing, "I believe that John killed them."

And Tanya is far from the only one. Lynn Thompson is a reporter for the Bryan Times who has covered the case since day one. He has written a new book called

76 Minutes

, named for the amount of time he believes Skelton had after allegedly leaving his home with the boys and returning without them. Authorities have spent years trying to retrace Skelton's steps, and Thompson's own investigation has led him to an abandoned county road outside Holiday City, near Lazy River Campground, an area he says was overlooked.

Part of what led the U.S. Army vet to that spot was a ping on a nearby cell tower which traced back to Skelton's cell phone. He says volunteers combed the campground, but no one made it to the specific area he believes is of interest. That area is prone to flooding and on the other side of the Saint Joseph River.

"This is my area of interest after I narrowed everything down," says Thompson. "Back over there," he guestures toward a wooded area, "there's like a little trail with a tree that's forked, and right in the fork of the tree was a baseball, and it was a little league baseball from Spalding made in 2010."

Thompson says he came out to the area with the Williams County Sheriff with K-9 units back in 2013 but the dogs never picked up a scent. Now he's calling for more in-depth CSI, including cadaver dogs and a renewed focus on the area.

"Hopefully, I can narrow it down to about 200 acres," he says. "It's just a matter of time and getting somebody out there with the right equipment to find the right evidence."

Thompson's theory has given the boys' mother hope for closure.

"I went, 'you know what? 2019 is gonna be the year.'," she explains. "I feel it and I don't know why."

After all these years, she may be one step closer to the truth.